General Electric Company
) recently announced a 16% year-over-year hike in its dividend
payout to a quarterly payment of 22 cents per share or 88 cents
on an annualized basis. The fourth quarter 2013 dividend is
payable on Jan 27 to shareholders of record as of Dec 23.
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Based on the closing price of $26.84 on Dec 13, 2013, the
proposed dividend affirms a yield of 3.3%. A steady dividend
payout is part of the long-term strategy of General Electric to
provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders. In
addition, decent dividend increases at periodic intervals have
been one of the company's most attractive features.
The company had earlier hiked its dividend in Dec 2012, when it
raised the quarterly dividend payout from 17 cents to 19 cents
per share or from 68 cents to 76 cents on an annualized basis.
Prior to that, General Electric had raised its quarterly dividend
in Dec 2011 from 15 cents to 17 cents per share, and in Jun 2011
from 14 cents to 15 cents.
The company also has a share repurchase program in place, under
which it repurchased shares worth $8 billion in the first nine
months in 2013. General Electric has consistently returned
significant cash to its shareholders through dividends and share
repurchases. During the first nine months in 2013, the company
also paid $5.9 billion in dividends to shareholders.
General Electric is one of the largest and the most diversified
technology and financial services corporations in the world. With
products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power
generation, water processing, and security technology to medical
imaging, business and consumer financing, media content, and
industrial products, the company serves over 100 million
customers worldwide. Its segments include Power & Water, Oil
& Gas, Energy Management, Aviation, Healthcare,
Transportation, Home & Business Solutions, and GE Capital.
General Electric currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other
companies in the industry that are worth mentioning include
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.
Raven Industries Inc.
), each having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).