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The Southern Company (NYSE: SO) reported better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based company reported a quarterly profit of $718 million, versus a year-ago profit of $852 million. On a per-share basis, the company's earnings slipped to $0.80 from $0.97. Excluding special items, the company's earnings gained to $1.09 per share.

Its revenue surged 6.4% to $5.34 billion in the quarter. However, analysts were projecting earnings of $1.07 per share on revenue of $5.28 billion.

The company's residential energy sales climbed 5%, while commercial energy sales rose 1.1%. Industrial energy sales climbed 4.8%. Total energy sales, including wholesale sales, jumped 7.7% to 55 billion.

"We continue to see evidence of economic recovery across the Southeast, such as increases in industrial sales and residential customer growth," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "We will support this recovery, as always, through our customer-focused business model and our commitment to providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy."

Southern shares fell 1.31% to $46.75 in pre-market trading.

Posted-In: profitEarnings News


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