The report noted that among utilities, SO shares displayed both attractive valuation metrics and strong profitability metrics. For example, the recent SO share price of $44.76 represents a price-to-book ratio of 2 and an annual dividend yield of 4.85% — by comparison, the average utility stock in Dividend Channel’s coverage universe yields 4% and trades at a price-to-book ratio of 2.1.
The report also cited the strong quarterly dividend history at Southern Company, and favorable long-term multi-year growth rates in key fundamental data points. It continued:
“Dividend investors approaching investing from a value standpoint are generally most interested in researching the strongest, most profitable companies that also happen to be trading at an attractive valuation. That’s what we aim to find using our proprietary DividendRank formula, which ranks the coverage universe based upon our various criteria for both profitability and valuation, to generate a list of the top most ‘interesting’ stocks, meant for investors as a source of ideas that merit further research.”
The annualized dividend paid by Southern is $2.17 per share, currently paid in quarterly installments, and its most recent dividend ex-date was May 14. Below is a long-term dividend history chart for SO, which Dividend Channel stressed as being of key importance.
Indeed, studying a company’s past dividend history can be of good help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue.