WARNING: Market Shock Imminent

Join us on September 29 at 4 p.m. ET at the Market Shock 2022 event to find out what’s coming and how to profit.

Thu, September 29 at 4:00PM ET

Southern Company Raises the Dividend Bar For Shareholders (SO)

Electric utility firm Southern Company (NYSE:SO) recently delivered pleasant news to investors. The company announced a 8-cent hike in annual dividend to $2.32 per share. Notably, this marks the 16th straight year that the company has increased its annual payout. The quarterly dividend of the company will increase by 2 cents from 56 cents to 58 cents, representing a 3.6% hike. This marks the 278th consecutive quarter of equal or higher dividend payment by the company.

Southern Company Raises the Dividend Bar For Shareholders (SO) SO’s dividend will be payable on Jun 6 to stockholders of record as on May 15. Post the announcement, the share price of Southern increased 0.73% to $49.78 on April 17.

Utility stocks are very popular among investors since these companies manage to generate consistent profits and reward shareholders with high dividends and Southern is no exception.

The company has been a windows-and-orphan stock with a long history of regular reliable dividends and strong portfolio of state-regulated electric and gas utilities. The company boasts of a regular distribution record since 1948 and it has also managed to improve upon its payout for 16 consecutive years. The annual yield on the dividend is 4.7%.

Southern is one of the largest and best-managed electric utility holding companies in the U.S. The firm dominates the power business across the southeastern region. The company holds an exceptional dividend record and investors can be assured that the company will hold on to its commitment to continue this streak.

The company’s shares rallied almost 11% over the last two years, outperforming the Zacks categorized Utility- Electric Power industry gain of around 2%.

However, the company’s high leverage is a matter of concern. The company carries a highly leveraged balance sheet with a net debt of $78.1 billion. The high debt level will require significant cash flows for repayments.

Therefore, Southern Company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked players from the same industry include Pampa Energia S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:PAM), RWE AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:RWEOY) and TransAlta Corporation (USA) (NYSE:TAC).

All the three companies sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Pampa Energia is expected to report year-over-year growth of 38,200% in its earnings in 2017.

RWE is expected to report year-over-year growth of 16.19% in its earnings in 2017.

TransAlta is expected to report year-over-year growth of 55.56% in its earnings in 2017.

5 Trades Could Profit “Big-League” from Trump Policies

If the stocks above spark your interest, wait until you look into companies primed to make substantial gains from Washington’s changing course.

Today Zacks reveals 5 tickers that could benefit from new trends like streamlined drug approvals, tariffs, lower taxes, higher interest rates, and spending surges in defense and infrastructure. See these buy recommendations now >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Southern Company (The) (SO): Free Stock Analysis Report

Pampa Energia S.A. (PAM): Free Stock Analysis Report

TransAlta Corporation (TAC): Free Stock Analysis Report

RWE AG (RWEOY): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

More From InvestorPlace

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2017/04/southern-company-so-announces-dividend-hike-shares-up/.

©2022 InvestorPlace Media, LLC