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Kemper overruns drag down Southern Co. stock

kemper-update-logo-large_rgb-300x247JACKSON, Mississippi — Troubles at the Kemper County power plant that Mississippi Power Co. is building are so great that they’re dragging down the stock of parent Southern Co.

Company stock has fallen four straight days since Southern disclosed another $196 million in overruns related to higher construction costs and delays in the project.

Mississippi Power says it will pay the additional money — not its 186,000 customers from Meridian to the Gulf Coast. However, the company says it also will lose $120 million to $150 million in tax benefits by not completing the complex this year. Mississippi Power says it will change proposed rates to recover that money.

Monday, Swiss investment bank UBS cut Southern’s stock to a “sell” rating, citing Kemper.

The coal-fueled power plant is now projected to cost $5.5 billion.

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