7 Impressive Facts About GE’s Dividend

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Global conglomerate General Electric ( GE ) is a staple of many dividend portfolios, as the company holds a vital presence across nearly every corner of the economy - along with the financial firepower to back its diversified businesses.

This Connecticut-based bellwether provides products and services to customers in more than 100 countries. GE is involved in everything from designing aircraft engines and wind turbines to water processing and the manufacturing of household appliances and medical imaging devices. To top it off, the firm also features an extensive business and consumer financing segment, rightfully earning its reputation as a conglomerate superpower. GE is highly regarded among dividend investors as it has consistently paid out a distribution to shareholders every quarter since 1899.

Not only is the company's payout record impressive, so too is the size of its monstrous distribution. As such, below we highlight seven impressive facts about GE's dividend:

  1. In 2011, GE paid out in total $6.45 billion in dividends. To put the size of this distribution into perspective, it totals out to roughly $124 million per week - or just about $17 million returned to shareholders every day.
  2. GE's most recent quarterly payout of $1.8 billion is comparable to the value of Mukesh Ambani's house. India's richest man is building a 398,000 square foot home that is 27 stories high, has 3 helipads, 600 person wait staff, along with a modest garage that fits 160 cars.
  3. Since the year 2000, GE has paid out in total $102 billion in dividends. By compassion, the Federal Reserve spent nearly four times this amount, totaling roughly $400 billion, to implement "Operation Twist" in September of 2011.
  4. In the beginning of 2010 GE payed out a distribution of 10 cents per share. Compared to its last quarterly payout in 2011 of 17 cents per share, this marks an impressive dividend growth rate of 70% in the last two years alone.
  5. With its last annual distribution topping $6 billion, GE's dividend surpasses the payouts made by a number of key competitors in 2011, including 3M ( MMM ) ($1.55 billion), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) ($6.15 billion), and Honeywell ( HON ) ($1.09 billion).
  6. Given its recent closing price of roughly $23 per share, GE's last quarterly dividend payout of $1.8 billion was enough to purchase more than 78 million shares.
  7. Since 1986, GE has returned over $129 billion to shareholders in dividends. This monstrous cumulative distribution is enough to purchase 53 Bugatti Veyron supercars, 322 Cullinan diamonds (estimated at 3,000 carats each), 370 Boeing A380 airbuses, or purchase more than 184 million shares of Apple (assuming a price of $700 per share).

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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