NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of The Southern Company (SO) - Get Southern Company Report closed down 2.01% at $46.42 after reporting 2014 third quarter profit of $718 million, down from $852 million for the same period a year ago. On a per-share basis, which includes preferred dividend impacts, earnings fell to 80 cents from 97 cents a year earlier.

Excluding items such as charges related to the Kemper County project, per share earnings rose to $1.09 from $1.08 for the same period last year. Revenue increased to $5.34 billion from $5.02 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected earnings of $1.07 a share on revenue of $5.28 billion.

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The Atlanta-based utility has been hit by charges to the Kemper County project in recent quarters, according to the Wall Street Journal, reporting that the overall price tag for the project, meant to showcase technology for generating clean electricity from low-quality coal, is $5.24 billion, making it potentially the most expensive fossil-fuel power plant ever built in the U.S.

"The Kemper County plant is generating electricity from natural gas," CEO Thomas Fanning said, adding, "With construction essentially complete, our focus turns towards the startup of the gasification and carbon capture systems. We believe our recent schedule extension will help preserve the long-term value of this important technology."

TheStreet Recommends

TheStreet Ratings team rates SOUTHERN CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SOUTHERN CO (SO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, compelling growth in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SO Ratings Report

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