Southern Co. posts 3.3% rise in 3rd qtr. profit

Energy provider Southern Company reports a 3.3 percent increase today in third-quarter profit on a solid rise in sales.

The results -- when certain items are excluded -- is in line with Wall Street expectations.

The Atlanta-based company says it earned $762 million -- or $1 a share -- for the three months ending September 30th. That compares to a profit of $738 million -- or 99 cents a share -- for the same period a year earlier.

Excluding the impact of the company's synthetic fuel business, Southern says it earned 99 cents a share in the quarter. On that basis, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 99 cents a share.

Revenue rose 6.2 percent to $4.83 billion. That compares to $4.55 billion a year earlier.

The company's holdings include Mississippi Power.