Today is Monday, August 5, 2019, and this is your daily dividend safety update. Today we’re looking at Southern Company (NYSE: SO) stock to see whether its 4.26% dividend is safe.
Editor’s Note: We’ve been keeping an eye on some dividend stocks that could be better for your income portfolio than Southern Company. These dividends are much bigger — and safer — than the paltry yields many investors settle for. Enter your email below to learn more.
Let’s look at the company’s payout ratio, cash flow growth, and dividend history to gauge the probability of a dividend cut in the next few years.
Payout Ratio (Dividends/Earnings)
Southern Company has a payout ratio of 56.31%. That’s low enough for us! Payout ratio equals dividends per share divided by earnings per share. A low payout ratio indicates that the company has plenty of money to cover its dividend. We’d be more concerned if the ratio was closer to 100% (or over it).
Cash Flow Growth Year-Over-Year
Southern Company has grown its cash flow by 87.58% in the last year. That’s a good omen for dividend investors! When a company grows its cash flow, it can use some of that extra cash to strengthen — or even raise — its dividend.
Dividend History & Recent Cuts
Southern Company has not cut its dividend in the recent past. That’s a good sign. It’s not a guarantee that the company will never cut its dividend, but companies that have cut their dividends recently are generally more likely to cut them again.
Southern Company stock has failed 0 of our 3 dividend safety metrics. With that in mind, we believe a dividend cut is unlikely in the next few years.
Are you worried about the safety of your dividend stocks? Is there a particular stock you want us to grade next? Leave the ticker symbol in the comment section below.