Based on the aggregated intelligence of 135,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, electric utility giant Southern (NYSE:SO) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Southern's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Southern facts

Headquarters (founded)

Atlanta, Ga. (1945)

Market Cap

$22.55 billion


Electric utilities

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$17.11 billion


Chairman/CEO David Ratcliffe (since 2004)
CFO W. Paul Bowers (since 2008)

Return on Equity (average, last three years)


Dividend Yield



Entergy (NYSE:ETR)
American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP)

CAPS members bullish on SO also bullish on

General Electric (NYSE:GE)
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)

CAPS members bearish on SO also bearish on

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS.

Over on CAPS, fully 590 of the 632 members who have rated Southern -- some 93% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include KyrieLoon and justintime1003.

Two days ago, KyrieLoon tapped Southern as a potent play on one of life's certainties:

Death, taxes, and utilities will always be with us. [Southern] is one of the very best run of the utility companies, has a depressed-at-the-moment stock price, and currently pays a 6 % dividend. That's a hard combination to find!

In a pitch from last month, justintime1003 expands on why Fools should take comfort in Southern:

-Southern Company has a natural monopoly in its market (Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi). This equates to a stable and consistent cash flow.

-While most companies are reducing their dividend, [Southern] recently increased its annual dividend to $1.75 per share.

-[Southern] will be one of the first to benefit from an economic recovery. Increased economic activity means more demand for electricity.

-It sells a product that everyone needs -- electricity.

What do you think about Southern, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 135,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Southern, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Coca-Cola is also a selection of Inside Value. The Fool owns shares of Procter & Gamble. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.