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Southern Co. Q2 earnings top Street estimates by 11 cents

Southern Co. on Aug. 8 announced net income, excluding items, of $815.0 million, or 80 cents per basic share, in the second quarter, improving from $728.0 million, or 73 cents per basic share, a year earlier.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for the most recent quarter was 69 cents.

The year-over-year improvement reflects the effects of "constructive" regulatory outcomes and weather at the company's state regulated electric utilities and higher contributions from Southern Power Co.'s renewables assets, the company said in its earnings release. The result for the 2018 quarter also reflects the impact of an approximately $1.10 billion charge related to the ongoing construction of the Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Plant nuclear expansion project.

The company reported a second-quarter GAAP net loss of $154.0 million, or a loss of 15 cents per basic share, compared to a net loss of $1.38 billion, or a loss of $1.38 per basic share, a year ago.

Second-quarter operating revenues were $5.63 billion, an increase from $5.43 billion in the prior-year period. The utility also reported operating income of $63 million, compared to an operating loss of $1.65 billion a year earlier.

Looking ahead, Southern Co. said it expects to incur additional pre-tax cancellation costs of up to $25 million for Mississippi Power Co.'s Plant Ratcliffe (Kemper County IGCC) during the remainder of 2018 and 2019. The company may also record further charges tied to the Vogtle project.