With all of the market volatility lately, some investors appear to be getting charged up about utilities. Southern
For the December-ended period, the company, which recently announced changes to its management team, earned $204 million, or $0.27 a share, up 8.5% on the net-income line from a year earlier. If you back out the effects of Southern's synthetic-fuels investments, however, the per-share figure for the most recent quarter came in at $0.26, a couple of pennies above expectations.
In virtually every reporting period, Southern's results get a boost from the company's location, which includes a headquarters in Atlanta and service to customers in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. In the most recent quarter, that region's relative vibrancy resulted in total energy sales to customers -- including wholesale sales -- 2.3% higher over the prior year. Another beneficiary of the growing southeastern United States, Duke Energy
Southern's 4.3% dividend yield has the company in good standing with the Motley Fool Income Investor team. And its beta of just 0.4 indicates that even amid the current queasiness-inducing market conditions, the company's shares generally keep their calm. For that combination of reasons, if market flightiness is having a pronounced negative effect on your fingernails, you might consider a dose of some soothing Southern comforting.
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