© Reuters.  Southern trades flat after Q4 earnings beat, mixed guidance© Reuters. Southern trades flat after Q4 earnings beat, mixed guidance

  • Southern Co . (SO -0.2%) is little changed after beating Q4 earnings and revenue estimates, and issuing mixed guidance for Q1 and FY 2018.
  • SO says earnings for Q4 and FY 2017 were helped by retail revenue effects and lower operations and maintenance costs at the company’s traditional electric operating companies, and results from Southern Company Gas, but were hurt by milder weather and lower customer usage.
  • SO guides for Q1 EPS of $0.84 vs. $0.69 analyst consensus estimate and FY 2018 EPS of $2.80-$2.95 vs. $2.99 consensus.
  • CEO Thomas Fanning appeared on CNBC to praise the recent tax changes, saying they will allow SO to reduce rates by 5%-7% while also putting the company in a position to “restore our financial integrity and credit metrics.”
  • Separately, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission proposes a $145K civil penalty against SO for faking inspections at the Voglte nuclear power plant in Georgia, saying workers “did not complete required rounds to check equipment and plant conditions, but provided inaccurate documentation indicating that they had done so.”
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