PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southern Company today reported second quarter earnings of $416.4 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $429.2 million for the second quarter of 2007, or 57 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
For the six months ended June 30, Southern Company's earnings were $775.6 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with $767.8 million, or $1.02 a share, for the same period a year ago.
Earnings for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2008, included a $67 million charge, or 9 cents per share, related to three leveraged leases from the 1990s when Southern Company pursued development of international energy projects. Earnings for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2007, included synthetic fuel earnings of 2 cents per share and 5 cents per share, respectively.
Excluding the impact of synthetic fuel investments and charges related to the leveraged leases, Southern Company earned 63 cents a share for the second quarter of 2008, compared with 55 cents a share for the same period in 2007, and earnings for the first six months of 2008 were $1.10 a share, compared with 97 cents a share for the same period in 2007.
Revenues for the second quarter were $4.22 billion, compared with $3.77 billion in the same period a year ago, an 11.8 percent increase. For the first six months of the year, revenues totaled $7.90 billion, compared with $7.18 billion in the same period a year ago, a 10 percent increase.
"Through hard work and dedication, our employees continue to safely provide reliable electricity to our customers at prices below the national average and with industry leading customer service," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO David M. Ratcliffe. "By maintaining this focus on the execution of our business strategy, we continue to produce solid results for our shareholders."
As compared with the nation, the economic slowdown is less severe in the Southeast, as evidenced in part by a job growth rate of 0.45 percent in the Southeast versus 0.04 percent for the nation. Although customer growth has slowed, Southern Company has added 40,000 customers since the end of the second quarter in 2007, a 0.9 percent increase.
Positive earnings drivers for the second quarter include recovery of investments made for transmission and distribution infrastructure and environmental control technology. These investments are needed to help ensure that Southern Company continues to meet growing demand, maintain reliability and produce cleaner energy. Contributions from customers on our market- response rates also helped drive earnings.
The positive earnings drivers were offset in part by the charge for leveraged leases, asset depreciation primarily associated with increased investment in environmental equipment and infrastructure, and higher non-fuel operations and maintenance expenses.
In the second quarter, kilowatt-hour sales to retail customers in Southern Company's four-state service area decreased 1.2 percent compared with sales in the second quarter of 2007. Residential electricity sales decreased 2.7 percent. Electricity sales to commercial customers increased 0.9 percent, and industrial sales decreased 1.8 percent. Year-to-date, kilowatt-hour sales to retail customers increased 0.1 percent compared with sales during the same period in 2007. Residential electricity sales decreased 0.4 percent. Commercial sales increased 1.3 percent and industrial sales declined 0.7 percent.
Total energy sales to Southern Company's customers in the Southeast, including wholesale sales, increased 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2008 compared with the same period of 2007. Year-to-date, total sales of electricity increased 0.9 percent compared with the same period in 2007.
With nearly 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (
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