#9: General Electric
Current Dividend Yield: 3.2%
Performance So Far in 2012: +17%
General Electric (NYSE:GE) has come fighting back as a viable dividend investment after its infamous dividend cut during the financial crisis. Consider that in April 2011, GE paid 14 cents each quarter. By the summer it was paying 15 cents, and by January 2012 it was up to 17 cents a quarter. And earlier this year, regulators signed off on a special dividend from GE Capital along with permission for the group to resume paying regular dividends going forward.
Payouts aren’t back to pre-recession levels, but this progress is significant.
GE posted mixed earnings in July as profit slipped, in part because of pension expenses and a drop in demand for its wind turbines. But the company is getting some of its swagger back. The aforementioned GE Capital arm has mended significantly, and since the company’s finance and energy businesses account for 70% of revenue, that’s a big deal.
Obviously, an up economy would mean improved profits for GE’s core businesses. But the nice yield and increasing strength in its operations mean this might be a good time to invest in GE with the hopes of a recovery.