Southern Co. earnings down 13 percent
by Ray Henry, Associated Press
October 30, 2013 10:00 AM | 231 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA (AP) — Southern Co. reported a nearly 13 percent drop in its third-quarter earnings Wednesday, citing cooler-than-expected weather across the Southeast and continued construction losses at a Mississippi power plant.

The company is being forced to write off $93 million in additional after-tax charges to cover the soaring costs of building the power plant in Mississippi's Kemper County. It marked the third-straight quarter Southern Co. has announced losses on the unique plant, which is designed to recapture some of the carbon dioxide produced when using coal to create electricity.

Those losses have pushed the cost of the project to almost $5 billion. It was originally projected to cost $2.8 billion.

The Atlanta power company reported earnings of $852 million, or, 97 cents per share. That was down from $976 million, or $1.11 per share, a year earlier.

Per-share earnings removing one-time items were $1.08, which was short of Wall Street expectations. Revenue, at $5.02 billion, was also shy of most projections and down from last year's $5.05 billion.

Southern Co. CEO Tom Fanning blamed cool temperatures and heavy rainfall. Southeastern utilities typically see demand surge during hot summers, when customers run their air conditioners to stay cool. He said metro Atlanta normally experiences 100 hours in the summer when temperatures top 90 degrees. This year, there was only one hour.

"This unique combination of circumstances resulted in one of the mildest southeastern summers in the last 20 years," Fanning said in a statement.

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Follow Ray Henry on Twitter: http://twitter.com/rhenryAP.



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