Southern Co (NYSE:SO) Investor Securities Class Action Lawsuit 01/23/2017
January 23, 2017 (Shareholders Foundation) - An investor in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia over alleged violations of Federal Securities Laws by Southern Co in connection with certain allegedly false and misleading statements made between April 25, 2012 and October 29, 2013.
In 2006, Southern Company announced plans for a "clean coal" plant to be built in Kemper County, Mississippi (the "Kemper Plant") by its subsidiary, Mississippi Power. At the time the project broke ground in 2010, a funding package of almost $1 billion in U.S. Department of Energy grants and Internal Revenue Service tax credits was in place, provided that construction of the plant was completed by May 2014.
According to the complaint the plaintiff alleges on behalf of purchasers of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) common shares between April 25, 2012 and October 29, 2013, that the defendants violated Federal Securities Laws. More specifically, the plaintiff claims that between April 25, 2012 and October 29, 2013 defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding the progress of the Kemper Plant, assuring investors that the project would be completed by the critical May 2014 deadline, even when cost overruns and other delays began to materialize, and that as a result of defendants' false statements and/or omissions, Southern Company common stock traded at artificially inflated prices between April 25, 2012 and October 29, 2013.
Southern Co reported that its annual Total Revenue rose from over $16.47 billion in 2012 to over $17.03 billion in 2013 and that its Net Income declined from over $2.41 billion in 2012 to $1.71 billion in 2013.
On October 30, 2013, Southern Co announced its third quarter 2013 financial results, disclosing an after-tax charge of $93 million "related to increased cost estimates for the construction" of the Kemper Plant.
During an earnings conference call the same day it was disclosed that the in-service date for the Kemper Plant would be delayed until year-end 2014.
Southern Co reported that its annual Total Revenue declined from over $18.46 billion in 2014 to over $17.44 billion in 2015 and that its Net Income rose from over $2.03 billion in 2014 to over $2.42 billion in 2015.
On January 23, 2017, shares closed at $48.83 per share.