Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, electric utility giant Southern (NYSE: SO) has earned a coveted five-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 (1945)
Market Cap $38.6 billion
Industry Electric utilities
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $17.7 billion
Management Chairman/CEO Thomas Fanning (since 2010)
CFO Arthur Beattie (since 2010)
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 11.7%
Cash/Debt $1.3 billion / $21.3 billion
Dividend Yield 4.3%
Competitors CenterPoint Energy
Entergy
NextEra Energy

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 95% of the 1,068 members who have rated Southern believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Earlier this month, one of those Fools, tayoub22, tapped the stock as a solid long-term income opportunity:

I started investing in [Southern] stock in 1976. Throughout the years Southern has performed admirably in terms of increased dividends, value and growth. From some of [Southern] dividends I had purchased other stocks that added healthy growth to my portfolio. ... No wonder [Southern] is given a five-star rating by [Motley Fool CAPS].

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Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Southern. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.