Berkshire Shares: 7.77 million shares
Returns: -4% 1-year return vs. a flat Dow,
-51% 5-year return vs. -11% for Dow
General Electric (NYSE:GE) burned a lot of dividend investors back in 2009 when it slashed its payout 68%, from 31 cents to just 10 cents a quarter. But while payments are not what they once were, GE has steadily increased its payouts and currently is dishing out dividends of 17 cents a quarter — good for a 3.8% yield right now. General Electric is a diversified industrial company with health care, infrastructure and aviation businesses. But what’s really encouraging for income investors right now is the fact that its GE Capital arm has finally won approval to start delivering dividends back to shareholders. This could mean even more income potential in shareholders’ future.
Of course, GE shares haven’t exactly been kind to investors, lagging the market in the short term and suffering big losses in the wake of the financial crisis. So buyer beware.