#6: General Electric
Current Dividend Yield: 3.5%
Performance So Far in 2012: +8%
General Electric (NYSE:GE) might forever be tarnished in the minds of some dividend investors after slashing its payout by two-thirds during the financial crisis. While the quarterly dividend remains about half of what it was — at just 17 cents vs. 31 before the market meltdown — the subsequent flop in GE stock and recent moves to increase payouts have managed to result in a very respectable yield of 3.5%.
GE admittedly has its near-term troubles, as evidenced in February by poor General Electric earnings (we’ll see what’s in store again when GE reports April 20). But that doesn’t seem to be deterring investors, who have bid it up nicely so far in 2012. That’s because while the stock might be seeing some headwinds, it has some long-term potential as its banking arm continues to improve and as its energy and infrastructure segment continues to grow.
GE isn’t going to return to pre-Lehman valuations anytime soon. But it’s definitely stable and on the mend — paying a healthy dividend all the while, too.