Southern Company (NYSE:SO), an electricity producer serving the southeast, reported Wednesday better-than expected earnings driven largely by hot second quarter temperatures, leading customers to crank-up their air conditioners.
One of the warmest second quarters in more than century caused the Atlanta-based company's earnings to soar to $510.2 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $478.6 million, or 61 cents a share in the same quarter last year. Earnings landed ahead of average analyst estimates of 59 cents, according to a Thompson Reuters poll.
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Second quarter revenue was $4.21 billion, up 8.3% from $3.89 billion in the prior year’s period, and beating the Street’s view of $4.16 billion.
Besides favorable weather conditions, Southern CEO David M. Ratcliffe said the positive earnings were also driven by economic recovery, as industrial sales were up 13% from the year-earlier period.
“We continue to see positive economic trends, particularly among our industrial and manufacturing customers,” he said, noting the solid results will help keep the company on track to deliver its full-year goals.