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Fortune Designates Southern Company World's Top Utility for Financial Soundness for Fourth Consecutive Year

ATLANTA, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Fortune magazine's 2013 list of the "World's Most Admired Companies" has Southern Company at the top in the electric and gas utility sector for financial soundness for the fourth consecutive year. Southern Company ranked first in its industry in five of the nine categories judged and third in its sector overall.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080801/SOCOLOGO)

In addition to its financial soundness, Southern Company earned Fortune's highest industry ranking for its people management, quality of management, long-term investment and quality of products/services. Other criteria included innovation, use of corporate assets, social responsibility and global competitiveness.

"Southern Company believes that creating customer value is the first step in creating long-term value for all other stakeholders," said Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. "It's why we place our customers at the center of our business decisions as we make strategic investments to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable power."

The Hay Group administers the Fortune survey, starting with about 1,400 companies: the Fortune 1,000 (the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue), non-U.S. companies in Fortune's Global 500 database with revenue of $10 billion or more, and the top foreign companies operating in the U.S.

Hay Group sorts the companies by industry and selects the 15 largest for each international industry and the 10 largest for each U.S. industry. A total of 687 companies from 30 countries were surveyed.  To create the 57 industry lists, Hay asks executives, directors and analysts to rate companies in their own industry on the nine criteria.

With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

SOURCE Southern Company

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