The utility's fourth quarter operating revenue clocked in at $3.93 billion, 6% above Q4 2012 levels and slightly higher than analysts' $3.87 billion estimate.
On the bottom line, Southern Company managed to translate its better-than-expected sales to better-than-expected profit. Q4 2013 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) came in at $0.47, three cents above last year's fourth quarter and a penny above analyst predictions.
For fiscal 2013 overall, Southern snagged $17.09 billion in sales and EPS of $1.88.
"Southern Company remained focused on the fundamentals in 2013, delivering excellent reliability -- including record transmission and distribution reliability -- the best customer satisfaction among peer utilities and our safest year ever," said Southern Company Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Fanning in a statement today. "We continued to raise the bar while experiencing one of the mildest summers in the past 20 years, the highest rainfall in nearly 100 years and slower-than-expected economic growth, especially during the first half of the year."
According to the utility, economic growth and closer-to-normal weather helped push Q4 earnings above Q4 2012's numbers. But 2013 earnings still fell short of 2012's $2.70 EPS due to milder weather, despite an uptick in sales from new generation capacity.
Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Southern Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.