Diversified conglomerate General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) 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.
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 Company (NYSE:GE) 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 Company (NYSE:GE) 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 Company (NYSE:GE) 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 Company (NYSE:GE) currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other companies in the industry that are worth mentioning include ITT Corp (NYSE:ITT), Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:HUWHY) and Raven Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:RAVN), each having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Disclaimer: This article is written by Zacks Equity Research and originally published at Zacks.com.