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Southern Company increases dividend for 20th consecutive year; annualized rate rises to $2.64 per share

April 19, 2021 GMT
Southern Company (PRNewsFoto/Southern Company) (PRNewsfoto/Southern Company)
Southern Company (PRNewsFoto/Southern Company) (PRNewsfoto/Southern Company)

ATLANTA, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company announced today it is increasing its dividend by 8 cents per share on an annualized basis to a rate of $2.64 per share.

This marks the 20th consecutive year that Southern Company has raised the dividend on its common stock.

Southern Company also announced today a regular quarterly dividend – including the increase of 2 cents per share over the prior quarter – of 66 cents per share, payable June 7, 2021, to shareholders of record as of May 17, 2021. Today’s action by the board ensures Southern Company will have paid a dividend to its shareholders that is equal to or greater than the previous quarter every quarter dating back to 1948.

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“Twenty consecutive years of dividend increases is an accomplishment everyone at Southern Company can be proud of,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Today’s action by the board reinforces our more than 70 year history of overall shareholder value proposition that has included dividends and dividend growth and once again proves the superior performance, strength and resilience of Southern Company’s exceptional energy businesses.”

About Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices below the national average. For more than a century, we have been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation and a low-carbon future, Southern Company and its subsidiaries develop the customized energy solutions our customers and communities require to drive growth and prosperity. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and govern our business to the benefit of our world. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have been recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Defense, G.I. Jobs magazine, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, Forbes and the Women’s Choice Award. To learn more, visit www.southerncompany.com.

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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning Southern Company’s dividend growth. Southern Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, including tax, environmental, and other laws and regulations to which Southern Company and its subsidiaries are subject, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; the potential effects of the continued COVID-19 pandemic; the extent and timing of costs and legal requirements related to coal combustion residuals; current and future litigation or regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries, including litigation and other disputes related to the Kemper County energy facility; the effects, extent, and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in which Southern Company’s subsidiaries operate, including from the development and deployment of alternative energy sources; variations in demand for electricity and natural gas; available sources and costs of natural gas and other fuels; the ability to complete necessary or desirable pipeline expansion or infrastructure projects, limits on pipeline capacity, and operational interruptions to natural gas distribution and transmission activities; transmission constraints; effects of inflation; the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction, and operation of facilities or other projects, including Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 (which includes components based on new technology that only within the last few years began initial operation in the global nuclear industry at this scale) and Plant Barry Unit 8, due to current and future challenges which include, but are not limited to, changes in labor costs, availability, and productivity; challenges with management of contractors or vendors; subcontractor performance; adverse weather conditions; shortages, delays, increased costs, or inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor; contractor or supplier delay; delays due to judicial or regulatory action; nonperformance under construction, operating, or other agreements; operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs; engineering or design problems; design and other licensing-based compliance matters, including, for nuclear units, inspections and the timely submittal by Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. of the Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria documentation for each unit and the related reviews and approvals by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) necessary to support NRC authorization to load fuel; challenges with start-up activities, including major equipment failure, or system integration; and/or operational performance; and challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic; the ability to overcome or mitigate the current challenges at Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 that could further impact the cost and schedule for the project; legal proceedings and regulatory approvals and actions related to construction projects, such as Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4, Plant Barry Unit 8, and pipeline projects, including Public Service Commission approvals and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and NRC actions; under certain specified circumstances, a decision by holders of more than 10% of the ownership interests of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 not to proceed with construction and the ability of other Vogtle owners to tender a portion of their ownership interests to Georgia Power Company (“Georgia Power”) following certain construction cost increases; in the event Georgia Power becomes obligated to provide funding to Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (“MEAG Power”) with respect to the portion of MEAG Power’s ownership interest in Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 involving Jacksonville Electric Authority, any inability of Georgia Power to receive repayment of such funding; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses (including satisfaction of NRC requirements), to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; investment performance of the employee and retiree benefit plans and nuclear decommissioning trust funds; advances in technology, including the pace and extent of development of low- to no-carbon energy technologies and negative carbon concepts; performance of counterparties under ongoing renewable energy partnerships and development agreements; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to return on equity, equity ratios, additional generating capacity, and fuel and other cost recovery mechanisms; the ability to successfully operate the electric utilities’ generating, transmission, and distribution facilities and Southern Company Gas’ natural gas distribution and storage facilities and the successful performance of necessary corporate functions; the inherent risks involved in operating and constructing nuclear generating facilities; the inherent risks involved in transporting and storing natural gas; the performance of projects undertaken by the non-utility businesses and the success of efforts to invest in and develop new opportunities; internal restructuring or other restructuring options that may be pursued; potential business strategies, including acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, which cannot be assured to be completed or beneficial to Southern Company or its subsidiaries; the ability of counterparties of Southern Company and its subsidiaries to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the ability to obtain new short- and long-term contracts with wholesale customers; the direct or indirect effect on the Southern Company system’s business resulting from cyber intrusion or physical attack and the threat of physical attacks; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts; access to capital markets and other financing sources; changes in Southern Company’s and any of its subsidiaries’ credit ratings; changes in the method of determining London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate; the ability of Southern Company’s electric utilities to obtain additional generating capacity (or sell excess generating capacity) at competitive prices; catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms, droughts, pandemic health events, political unrest, or other similar occurrences; the direct or indirect effects on the Southern Company system’s business resulting from incidents affecting the U.S. electric grid, natural gas pipeline infrastructure, or operation of generating or storage resources; impairments of goodwill or long-lived assets; and the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard-setting bodies. Southern Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.

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SOURCE Southern Company