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Southern Sees Steep Quarterly Decline

Southern sees a steep decline in profit, as the company is hit hard by a lawsuit settlement and disappointing sales to industrial customers.

It's lights out for yet another power company, as recessionary effects continue to diminish quarterly profits for companies in the sector. Power provider

Southern

(SO)

said profit declined drastically in the first-quarter, marred by a lawsuit settlement and disappointing sales to industrial customers.

Earnings during the quarter plummeted 65% to $125.7 million, or 16 cents a share, from $359.2 million, or 47 cents a share in the year-ago period. Excluding a settlement charge of 26 cents, the company earned 42 cents a share. Analysts expected a profit of 41 cents a share.

Revenue remained flat at $3.67 billion.

CenterPoint Energy

(CNP)

also said on Wednesday that its first-quarter income took a nosedive. The company said earnings declined 45% to $67 million, or 19 cents a share, from $122 million, or 36 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Last week

American Electric Power

(AEP)

posted a 37% tumble in first-quarter earnings to $360 million, or 89 cents a share, from $573 million, or $1.43 a share, a year earlier.

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