Despite a drop in revenue and a pullback in usage in the residential sector, Southern Co (NYSE:SO) was able to drive 6.8% growth in its bottom line. Assisted a bit by the industrial sector and lower maintenance expenses, Southern Co. avoided a disappointing showing in the face of more moderate temperatures compared to a feverish 2011. The company's CEO believes 2013 should be strong  -- the back-half specifically -- for operations and shareholders, as the company continues to focus on its revitalization of nuclear power. What does this mean for peers who are still in the reporting on-deck circle? Motley Fool analyst explains.

Taylor Muckerman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Exelon and 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.