Southern Company’s 4Q earnings exceed as yearlong earnings take a dive


Citing mild weather, reduced customer demand and legal expenses related to one of its power plants, Atlanta-based Southern Company posted weaker earnings in 2017 compared to the year before.

The company made $842 million in 2017, down from $2.4 billion in 2016.

Southern Company’s earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $496 million, compared to $197 million in 2016. Shares were also up 29 cents within that period from 20 cents per share in 2016 to 49 cents per share in 2017.

According to the company, the earnings increases were driven by high retail revenue, lower operational and maintenance costs at its electric subsidiaries and the results from a subsidiary, Southern Company gas which the company acquired in 2016.

“2017 was an eventful year for Southern Company, highlighted by the continued operational excellence of our premier state-regulated electric and gas utilities,” said Thomas Fanning, the company’s CEO.

One of the company’s subsidiaries, Georgia Power, had a turbulent year with its nuclear plant currently under construction in Waynesboro, which is years behind schedule and billions over budget.

The expansion of the project almost came to a stop at the end of the year, as debate soared over the economic viability of the project. The cost of the project, now in its ninth year, is almost double the initial estimate of $14.3 billion.

Fanning told investors several risk mitigating milestones were reached in 2017, including overcoming the Westinghouse Bankruptcy, securing Department Of Energy loans, the payment of the full Toshiba guaranty, the unanimous approval of the revised schedule and cost of the project by the PSC in December and the extension of the nuclear tax credits.

“We are grateful to the current administration and congress for recognizing the importance of new nuclear generation and demonstrating renewed federal support for Vogtle 3&4,” he said.

Fanning also reported increased productivity at the Vogtle site since the management change to Southern Nuclear and Bechtel, adding that construction is approximately eight months ahead of the estimated in service completion dates of November 2021 and November 2022.

“Of course there is a long way to go, but these early results are encouraging,” said Fanning.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Eagle’s Landing cityhood could doom Stockbridge, lawyers tell court
Eagle’s Landing cityhood could doom Stockbridge, lawyers tell court

Creating a city of Eagle’s Landing could potentially spell doom for the future of Stockbridge and could harm cities and municipalities across Georgia, lawyers for the Henry County community and one of the nation’s largest municipal bond holders argued in federal court Monday. Stockbridge, a city of nearly 29,000 residents, would lose as...
TUESDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Scattered afternoon showers shouldn’t cool off metro Atlanta much
TUESDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Scattered afternoon showers shouldn’t cool off metro Atlanta much

Tuesday: High: 84 Tuesday night: Low: 72 Wednesday: High: 85 “I want some cool air. Don’t you?” That was the question Channel 2 Action News chief meteorologist Glenn Burns posed, but he said it’s a vain effort. Temperatures will remain about three to five degrees above average this week. And it’ll be muggy...
Georgia State Patrol car crashes into Winder home during chase
Georgia State Patrol car crashes into Winder home during chase

A Georgia State Patrol trooper’s car crashed into a home in Barrow County on Friday night, Channel 2 Action News reported. Steven Wilhelm, the homeowner, told Channel 2 he was on the porch when he saw the patrol car approaching. “I was actually at the bottom of the steps, trying to work myself up, and I barely got the door closed when he...
Clayton County couple say they found snake inside Amazon package
Clayton County couple say they found snake inside Amazon package

A Clayton County couple said they were surprised when they opened an Amazon package Sunday night to find the storage bins they ordered — along with a snake. Charene and Njeri Rucker said a snake fell out of the package, and Amazon has refunded the couple for their $15 order, according to customer service emails the couple sent to Channel...
Cops: Teen was totally naked in Cobb high school, propositioned female
Cops: Teen was totally naked in Cobb high school, propositioned female

A 17-year-old boy is facing a public indecency charge after allegedly exposing himself to a female at a Cobb County high school. Seloncoeur Pharisien was “in a state of complete nudity” at Wheeler High School on Sept. 17, according to an arrest warrant. The spokeswoman for the school district, which is on fall break, did not respond...
More Stories