Southern Company reports fourth quarter and full year 2015 earni - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Southern Company reports fourth quarter and full year 2015 earnings

ATLANTA,GA -

This is a news release from Southern Company

Southern Company today reported fourth quarter 2015 earnings of $271 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with earnings of $283 million, or 31 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2014.  Southern Company also reported full year 2015 earnings of $2.4 billion, or $2.60 per share, compared with earnings of $2 billion, or $2.19 per share, for the same period in 2014.

Earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year 2015 include after-tax charges of $113 million (12 cents per share) and $226 million (25 cents per share), respectively, related to increased cost estimates for the construction of Mississippi Power's Kemper County integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project. Earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year 2014 include after-tax charges of $60 million (7 cents per share) and $553 million (61 cents per share), respectively, related to Kemper IGCC impacts. Earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year 2015 also include after-tax charges of $19 million and $31 million, respectively, related to the proposed acquisition of AGL Resources Inc. Furthermore, earnings for the full year 2015 include a $4 million after-tax charge related to the discontinued operations of Mirant and the March 2009 settlement agreement with MC Asset Recovery, LLC.

Excluding these items, Southern Company earned $403 million, or 44 cents per share, during the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with $343 million, or 38 cents per share, during the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full year 2015, excluding these items, Southern Company earned $2.63 billion, or $2.89 per share, compared with earnings of $2.52 billion, or $2.80 per share, for the same period in 2014.

Earnings for the fourth quarter and full year 2015 were positively influenced by retail revenue effects at Southern Company's traditional operating companies and success with renewable energy projects at wholesale subsidiary Southern Power. These positive drivers were partially offset by higher depreciation and warmer weather during the fourth quarter. Earnings for the full year 2015 were further positively influenced by residential and commercial sales growth, partially offset by increased share issuances and increased operation and maintenance costs.

"2015 was a tremendous year for Southern Company," said Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "We saw strong financial performance both from our wholesale subsidiary, Southern Power, and our traditional operating companies. Our state-regulated utilities delivered these 2015 results despite the warmest December on record in the last 120 years. We also improved our overall risk profile by addressing several issues related to our large construction projects, including the settlement of litigation concerning Plant Vogtle and the approval of rate recovery for the in-service assets at the Kemper IGCC." 

Fourth quarter 2015 operating revenues were $3.61 billion, compared with $4.02 billion for the same period in 2014, a decrease of 10.2 percent. Operating revenues for the full year 2015 were $17.53 billion, compared with $18.47 billion for the same period in 2014, a 5.1 percent decrease. These operating revenue decreases were primarily due to lower fuel costs being passed on to customers.

Kilowatt-hour sales to retail customers in Southern Company's four-state service area decreased 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with the fourth quarter of 2014. Residential energy sales decreased 13.5 percent, commercial energy sales decreased 1.5 percent and industrial energy sales decreased 2.7 percent. For the full year 2015, retail sales decreased 0.7 percent, compared with the same period in 2014. Residential energy sales decreased 2.3 percent, commercial energy sales increased 0.5 percent and industrial energy sales decreased 0.4 percent.

Weather-adjusted kilowatt-hour sales to retail customers in Southern Company's four-state service area decreased 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with the fourth quarter of 2014. Weather-adjusted residential energy sales increased 0.3 percent and weather-adjusted commercial energy sales increased 1.3 percent.

For the full year 2015, weather-adjusted retail sales increased 0.3 percent compared with the same period in 2014. Weather-adjusted residential energy sales increased 0.4 percent and weather-adjusted commercial energy sales increased 0.9 percent.

Total energy sales to the Southern Company system's customers in the Southeast, including wholesale sales, decreased 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with the same period in 2014. For the full year 2015, total energy sales decreased 1.8 percent, compared with the same period in 2014.

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