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How Southern Company’s Dividend Profile Looks Next to Its Peers

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Southern Company’s dividends

Southern Company (SO), the third-largest utility by market capitalization, declared a quarterly dividend of $0.60 per share on July 17. The ex-dividend date is August 17, and the dividend will be paid on September 6. In 2018, Southern Company is expected to pay $2.38 per share, which is more than 3% higher than its total dividends per share last year.

Southern Company has one of the longest dividend payment histories among the top utilities in the S&P 500. The latest announcement marks the 283rd consecutive quarter of cash dividend payments. The dividends have been equal to or greater than the previous quarter.

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Dividend yield

Southern Company is one of the highest-yielding stocks among the top utilities. It’s currently trading at a dividend yield of 5%. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) offers a yield of 3.3%. Southern Company’s dividend yield is also notably higher than the broader markets.

In comparison, its peer Duke Energy (DUK) is currently trading at a dividend yield of 4.6%. Dominion Energy (D) is yielding 4.8%. The largest utility by market capitalization, NextEra Energy (NEE), is yielding 2.7%.

Although Southern Company’s dividend yield is higher than many of its peers, it significantly lags behind its peers in terms of dividend growth. Its dividends per share grew 3.4% compounded annually in the last five years. In comparison, the broader utilities increased their dividends per share by ~4% compounded annually in the same period.

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