Southern Company reports second quarter earnings, notes modest economic recovery in Southeast

Jul 30, 2014, 07:30 ET from Southern Company

ATLANTA, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company today reported second quarter 2014 earnings of $611 million, or 68 cents per share, compared with earnings of $297 million, or 34 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

For the six months ended June 30, 2014, earnings were $962 million, or $1.08 per share, compared with $378 million, or 43 cents per share, for the same period in 2013.

Earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2014, include an after-tax charge of $235 million (26 cents per share) related to increased cost estimates for the construction of Mississippi Power's Kemper County integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project recorded in the first quarter of 2014. Earnings for the three and six months ended June 30, 2013, include after-tax charges of $278 million (32 cents per share) and $611 million (70 cents per share), respectively, related to the Kemper County IGCC project. Earnings for the first six months of 2013 also include an after-tax charge of $16 million (2 cents per share) for the restructuring of a leveraged lease investment recorded in the first quarter of 2013.

Excluding these items, Southern Company earned $611 million, or 68 cents per share, during the second quarter of 2014, compared with $575 million, or 66 cents per share, during the second quarter of 2013. For the first six months of 2014, excluding these items, Southern Company earned $1.2 billion, or $1.34 per share, compared with earnings of $1.0 billion, or $1.15 per share, for the same period in 2013.

Earnings were positively influenced by increased industrial sales, normal weather and retail revenue effects at Southern Company's traditional operating companies. Earnings were negatively influenced by increased non-fuel operations and maintenance expenses.

"Southern Company's second quarter industrial sales growth is an indicator of the potential for a broader economic recovery across the Southeast," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "Our commitment to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy has enabled us to continue to meet the needs of a region that's growing faster than the U.S as a whole."

Second quarter 2014 operating revenues were $4.47 billion, compared with $4.25 billion for the same period in 2013, an increase of 5.2 percent. Operating revenues for the first six months of 2014 were $9.11 billion, compared with $8.14 billion for the same period in 2013, an 11.9 percent increase.

Kilowatt-hour sales to retail customers in Southern Company's four-state service area increased 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the second quarter of 2013. Residential energy sales increased 2.0 percent, commercial energy sales increased 1.3 percent and industrial energy sales increased 3.0 percent.

For the first six months of 2014, retail sales increased 4.5 percent compared with the same period in 2013. Residential energy sales increased 8.5 percent, commercial energy sales increased 2.4 percent and industrial energy sales increased 2.9 percent.

Total energy sales to Southern Company's customers in the Southeast, including wholesale sales, increased 4.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013. For the first six months of 2014, total energy sales increased 7.2 percent compared with the same period in 2013.

Southern Company's financial analyst call will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern time today, during which Fanning and Chief Financial Officer Art P. Beattie will discuss earnings and provide a general business update. Investors, media and the public may listen to a live webcast of the call and view associated slides at http://investor.southerncompany.com/English/information-for-investors/investor-information/webcasts-and-presentations/default.aspx. A replay of the webcast only will be available at the site for 12 months.

Southern Company has also posted on its website detailed financial information on its second quarter performance. These materials are available at www.southerncompany.com.

With 4.4 million customers and nearly 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks and designated a 2013 Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company received the Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the economy. Southern Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, including legislative and regulatory initiatives regarding deregulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry, environmental laws including regulation of water, coal combustion residuals, and emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, carbon, soot, particulate matter, hazardous air pollutants, including mercury, and other substances, and also changes in tax and other laws and regulations to which Southern Company and its subsidiaries are subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries, including the pending Environmental Protection Agency civil actions against certain Southern Company subsidiaries, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission matters, and Internal Revenue Service and state tax audits; the effects, extent, and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in which Southern Company's subsidiaries operate; variations in demand for electricity, including those relating to weather, the general economy and recovery from the recent recession, population and business growth (and declines), the effects of energy conservation measures, including from the development and deployment of alternative energy sources such as self-generation and distributed generation technologies, and any potential economic impacts resulting from federal fiscal decisions; available sources and costs of fuels; effects of inflation; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, including changes in labor costs and productivity factors, adverse weather conditions, shortages and inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, contractor or supplier delay, non-performance under construction or other agreements, operational performance, operational readiness, unforeseen engineering problems, and/or delays associated with start-up activities, including major equipment failure, system integration, and operations; ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards, including any Public Service Commission ("PSC") requirements and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; investment performance of Southern Company's employee and retiree benefit plans and the Southern Company system's nuclear decommissioning trust funds; advances in technology; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to fuel and other cost recovery mechanisms; legal and regulatory approvals and actions related to the Plant Vogtle expansion, including Georgia PSC approvals and Nuclear Regulatory Commission actions; actions related to cost recovery for the integrated coal gasification combined cycle facility under construction in Kemper County, Mississippi ("Kemper IGCC"), including actions relating to proposed securitization, Mississippi PSC approval of Mississippi Power Company's proposed rate recovery plan, as ultimately amended, which currently includes the ability to complete the proposed sale of an interest in the Kemper IGCC to South Mississippi Electric Power Association, the ability to utilize bonus depreciation, which currently requires that assets be placed in service in 2014, and satisfaction of requirements to utilize investment tax credits and grants; Mississippi PSC review of the prudence of Kemper IGCC costs; the outcome of any legal or regulatory proceedings regarding the Mississippi PSC's issuance of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Kemper IGCC, the settlement agreement between Mississippi Power Company and the Mississippi PSC, the March 2013 rate order approving retail rate increases consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement, or the State of Mississippi legislation designed to enhance the Mississippi PSC's authority to facilitate development and construction of baseload generation in the State of Mississippi; the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities, including environmental, health, regulatory, natural disaster, terrorism, and financial risks; the performance of projects undertaken by the non-utility businesses and the success of efforts to invest in and develop new opportunities; internal restructuring or other restructuring options that may be pursued; potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to Southern Company or its subsidiaries; the ability of counterparties of Southern Company and its subsidiaries to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the ability to obtain new short- and long-term contracts with wholesale customers; the direct or indirect effect on the Southern Company system's business resulting from terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorist incidents, including cyber intrusion; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts, including Southern Company's and its subsidiaries' credit ratings; the impacts of any potential U.S. credit rating downgrade or other sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general, as well as potential impacts on the benefits of the U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees; the ability of Southern Company and its subsidiaries to obtain additional generating capacity at competitive prices; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, hurricanes, droughts, pandemic health events such as influenzas, or other similar occurrences; the direct or indirect effects on the Southern Company system's business resulting from incidents affecting the U.S. electric grid or operation of generating resources; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard setting bodies. Southern Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.

 

Page 5

Southern Company

Financial Highlights

(In Millions of Dollars Except Earnings Per Share)

Three Months Ended

June

Year-to-Date

June

2014

2013

2014

2013

Consolidated Earnings–As Reported

(See Notes)

  Traditional Operating Companies

$

580

$

268

$

899

$

334

  Southern Power

31

28

64

57

  Total

611

296

963

391

  Parent Company and Other

1

(1)

(13)

  Net Income–As Reported

$

611

$

297

$

962

$

378

  Basic Earnings Per Share

$

0.68

$

0.34

$

1.08

$

0.43

  Average Shares Outstanding (in millions)

895

874

892

872

  End of Period Shares Outstanding (in millions)

896

874

Three Months Ended

June

Year-to-Date

June

2014

2013

2014

2013

Consolidated Earnings–Excluding Items

(See Notes)

  Net Income–As Reported

$

611

$

297

$

962

$

378

  Estimated Loss on Kemper IGCC

278

235

611

  Leveraged Lease Restructure

16

  Net Income–Excluding Items

$

611

$

575

$

1,197

$

1,005

  Basic Earnings Per Share–Excluding Items

$

0.68

$

0.66

$

1.34

$

1.15

Notes

- For the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013, dilution does not change basic earnings per share by more than 1 cent and is not material.

- The estimated probable losses relating to Mississippi Power Company's construction of the integrated coal gasification combined cycle facility in Kemper County, Mississippi (Kemper IGCC) significantly impacted the presentation of earnings and earnings per share for the six months ended June 30, 2014 and the three and six months ended June 30, 2013 and any similar charges may occur with uncertain frequency.

- The charge related to the restructuring of a leveraged lease investment that was completed on March 1, 2013 impacted the presentation of earnings and earnings per share for the six months ended June 30, 2013 and similar charges are not expected to occur with any regularity in the future.

- All figures in this earnings release are preliminary and remain subject to the completion of normal quarter-end accounting procedures and adjustments, which could result in changes to these preliminary results.  In addition, certain classifications and rounding may be different from final results published in the Form 10-Q.

 

Page 6

Southern Company

Significant Factors Impacting EPS

Three Months Ended

June

Year-to-Date

June

2014

2013

Change

2014

2013

Change

Consolidated Earnings Per Share–

As Reported (See Notes)

$

0.68

$

0.34

$

0.34

$

1.08

$

0.43

$

0.65

  Significant Factors:

  Traditional Operating Companies

0.36

0.65

  Southern Power

0.01

  Parent Company and Other

0.01

  Increase in Shares

(0.02)

(0.02)

  Total–As Reported

$

0.34

$

0.65

Three Months Ended

June

Year-to-Date

June

2014

2013

Change

2014

2013

Change

Consolidated Earnings Per Share–

Excluding Items (See Notes)

$

0.68

$

0.66

$

0.02

$

1.34

$

1.15

$

0.19

  Total–As Reported

0.34

0.65

  Estimated Loss on Kemper IGCC

(0.32)

(0.44)

  Leveraged Lease Restructure

(0.02)

  Total–Excluding Items

$

0.02

$

0.19

Notes

- For the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013, dilution does not change basic earnings per share by more than 1 cent and is not material.

- The estimated probable losses relating to Mississippi Power Company's construction of the integrated coal gasification combined cycle facility in Kemper County, Mississippi (Kemper IGCC) significantly impacted the presentation of earnings and earnings per share for the six months ended June 30, 2014 and the three and six months ended June 30, 2013 and any similar charges may occur with uncertain frequency.

- The charge related to the restructuring of a leveraged lease investment that was completed on March 1, 2013 impacted the presentation of earnings and earnings per share for the six months ended June 30, 2013 and similar charges are not expected to occur with any regularity in the future.

- All figures in this earnings release are preliminary and remain subject to the completion of normal quarter-end accounting procedures and adjustments, which could result in changes to these preliminary results.  In addition, certain classifications and rounding may be different from final results published in the Form 10-Q.

 

 

Page 7

Southern Company

EPS Earnings Analysis

Three Months Ended June 2014 vs. June 2013

Cents

Description

Retail Sales

4

Retail Revenue Impacts

3

Weather

1

Other Operating Revenues

(5)

Non-Fuel O&M

(2)

Depreciation and Amortization

(1)

Taxes Other Than Income Taxes

2

Other Income and Deductions

1

Interest Expense

Total Traditional Operating Companies

(2)

Increase in Shares

Total Change in QTD EPS (x-Items)

32

Estimated Loss on Kemper IGCC

34¢

Total Change in QTD EPS (As Reported)

Notes

- The estimated probable losses relating to Mississippi Power Company's construction of the integrated coal gasification combined cycle facility in Kemper County, Mississippi (Kemper IGCC) significantly impacted the presentation of earnings and earnings per share for the three months ended June 30, 2013 and any similar charges may occur with uncertain frequency.

- All figures in this earnings release are preliminary and remain subject to the completion of normal quarter-end accounting procedures and adjustments, which could result in changes to these preliminary results.  In addition, certain classifications and rounding may be different from final results published in the Form 10-Q.

 

Page 8

Southern Company

Consolidated Earnings

As Reported

(In Millions of Dollars)

Three Months Ended June

Year-to-Date June

2014

2013

Change

2014

2013

Change

Income Account-

Retail Revenues-

Fuel

$

1,296

$

1,257

$

39

$

2,772

$

2,395

$

377

Non-Fuel

2,474

2,363

111

4,856

4,523

333

Wholesale Revenues

515

454

61

1,119

886

233

Other Electric Revenues

169

156

13

334

311

23

Non-regulated Operating Revenues

13

16

(3)

30

28

2

Total Revenues

4,467

4,246

221

9,111

8,143

968

Fuel and Purchased Power

1,595

1,501

94

3,429

2,858

571

Non-Fuel O & M

1,019

947

72

2,005

1,921

84

Depreciation and Amortization

504

476

28

1,001

942

59

Taxes Other Than Income Taxes

246

232

14

493

467

26

Estimated Loss on Kemper IGCC

450

(450)

380

990

(610)

Total Operating Expenses

3,364

3,606

(242)

7,308

7,178

130

Operating Income

1,103

640

463

1,803

965

838

Allowance for Equity Funds Used During Construction

62

45

17

119

86

33

Interest Expense, Net of Amounts Capitalized

210

215

(5)

416

426

(10)

Other Income (Expense), net

(6)

1

(7)

(13)

(26)

13

Income Taxes

321

158

163

497

189

308

Net Income

628

313

315

996

410

586

Dividends on Preferred and Preference Stock of Subsidiaries

17

16

1

34

32

2

NET INCOME AFTER DIVIDENDS ON PREFERRED AND PREFERENCE STOCK

$

611

$

297

$

314

$

962

$

378

$

584

Notes

- Certain prior year data has been reclassified to conform with current year presentation.

- All figures in this earnings release are preliminary and remain subject to the completion of normal quarter-end accounting procedures and adjustments, which could result in changes to these preliminary results.  In addition, certain classifications and rounding may be different from final results published in the Form 10-Q.

 

Page 9

Southern Company

Kilowatt-Hour Sales

(In Millions of KWHs)

Three Months Ended June

Year-to-Date June

As Reported

2014

2013

Change

Weather Adjusted Change

2014

2013

Change

Weather Adjusted Change

Kilowatt-Hour Sales-

Total Sales

46,903

44,808

4.7

%

94,705

88,378

7.2

%

Total Retail Sales-

39,198

38,392

2.1

%

0.9

%

78,897

75,467

4.5

%

1.1

%

Residential

12,001

11,770

2.0

%

(0.6)

%

26,175

24,117

8.5

%

0.3

%

Commercial

13,343

13,171

1.3

%

%

25,891

25,272

2.4

%

(0.1)

%

Industrial

13,629

13,226

3.0

%

3.0

%

26,378

25,625

2.9

%

2.9

%

Other

225

225

0.4

%

0.4

%

453

453

%

(0.2)

%

Total Wholesale Sales

7,705

6,416

20.1

%

N/A

15,808

12,911

22.4

%

N/A

Page 10

Southern Company

Financial Overview

As Reported

(In Millions of Dollars)

Three Months Ended June

Year-to-Date June

2014

2013

% Change

2014

2013

% Change

Consolidated –

Operating Revenues

$

4,467

$

4,246

5.2

%

$

9,111

$

8,143

11.9

%

Earnings Before Income Taxes

949

471

101.5

%

1,493

599

149.2

%

Net Income Available to Common

611

297

105.7

%

962

378

154.5

%

Alabama Power –

Operating Revenues

$

1,437

$

1,392

3.2

%

$

2,945

$

2,700

9.1

%

Earnings Before Income Taxes

302

302

%

626

550

13.8

%

Net Income Available to Common

173

173

%

360

314

14.6

%

Georgia Power –

Operating Revenues

$

2,186

$

2,042

7.1

%

$

4,455

$

3,924

13.5

%

Earnings Before Income Taxes

493

464

6.3

%

929

789

17.7

%

Net Income Available to Common

311

282

10.3

%

577

479

20.5

%

Gulf Power –

Operating Revenues

$

384

$

371

3.3

%

$

791

$

697

13.4

%

Earnings Before Income Taxes

58

55

5.1

%

120

92

29.9

%

Net Income Available to Common

34

33

4.6

%

71

54

30.3

%

Mississippi Power –

Operating Revenues

$

311

$

306

1.5

%

$

642

$

552

16.3

%

Earnings Before Income Taxes

79

(372)

121.2

%

(222)

(787)

71.7

%

Net Income Available to Common

62

(219)

128.5

%

(110)

(465)

76.5

%

Southern Power –

Operating Revenues

$

329

$

307

7.0

%

$

680

$

610

11.4

%

Earnings Before Income Taxes

29

33

(11.3)

%

67

77

(13.3)

%

Net Income Available to Common

31

28

10.4

%

64

57

12.6

%

Notes

- Mississippi Power Company restated its 2012 financial statements to reflect a pre-tax charge to income for the estimated probable loss on Kemper IGCC of $78 million ($48 million after tax) in 2012. Southern Company evaluated the portion of the estimated probable loss related to 2012 and concluded it was not material to Southern Company. Therefore, Southern Company reflected the pre-tax charge to income for this portion of the estimated probable loss related to 2012 in the first quarter 2013.

- All figures in this earnings release are preliminary and remain subject to the completion of normal quarter-end accounting procedures and adjustments, which could result in changes to these preliminary results.  In addition, certain classifications and rounding may be different from final results published in the Form 10-Q.

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