Which utility is paying the highest dividend?
Duke Energy (DUK) paid dividends of $3.36 per share in 2016. By comparison, peers NextEra Energy (NEE) paid $3.48 per share, while Southern Company (SO) paid annual dividends of $2.22 per share last year.
Among these three, NextEra Energy’s dividends have grown remarkably in the past few years, fueled by earnings growth. According to analysts’ estimates, NextEra’s dividends are expected to increase by more than 10% due to its strong earnings growth for the next few years.
Duke Energy’s dividends are expected to grow 4% going forward, which would be in line with the industry average.