Focusing on – and delivering – customer value has made Southern Company a successful business. The most visible evidence of that success lies in the value we have created – and grown – for our shareholders.
Over the long term, Southern Company has consistently outperformed the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Philadelphia Electric Utility indices, as well as the broader S&P 500 Index, producing an average annual total return of 9.9 percent over the five-year period, 11.4 percent over the 10-year period and 16.3 percent over the 30-year period ended December 31, 2011. We have paid regular dividends to investors for 257 consecutive quarters, approximately $38 billion total dating back to 1948 – one of the reasons we were named a Top 10 dividend-paying utility stock in 2011 by the Forbes investment news service Dividend Channel. And we’ve done it all with one of the lowest risk profiles in the industry and roughly half the volatility of the S&P 500.
Over time, we have combined our strong history of dividend performance with long-term price growth and have been one of the most reliable and rewarding risk-adjusted investments around – No. 1 in financial soundness among Fortune magazine’s “Most Admired Electric and Gas Utilities” for three years in a row. Our steadfast commitment to customer value has been the driving force behind a steady increase in shareholder value – and we see no reason to reinvent that wheel. After all, when something works this well, why change it?