Top Dividend Stocks #4: General Electric
Dividend Yield: 3.50%
YTD Performance: -10.17%
52-Week Return: +10.75%
Since the height of the financial crisis, at which point General Electric (GE) cut its dividend for the first time since 1938, the company has been steadily regaining investors’ trust through increased distributions. Those increases have helped keep it on our list of top dividend stocks.
GE slashed its dividend to just 10 cents back in 2009, a 68% decrease from the previous 31 cents per share. Many investors lost confidence and sold off their shares, but the stock has more than doubled since then. In fact, if you happened to buy the shares when they bottomed out around $7, you’d be sitting on a triple-digit total return, including $2.86 in dividend income per share.
Although GE has come down a decent amount in 2014, there are still some encouraging signs for potential investors. The company has reported increased earnings per share for two quarters in a row, from 35 cents in Q2 2013 to 53 cents in the latest quarter, and the 53-cent EPS reading marked an increase of almost 20% over the same quarter a year earlier. Additionally, there has been significant growth in GE’s aviation segment, in which profit margins have also increased by 20% over the last year.
The stock is attractive for its current payout as well, as GE sports a handsome dividend yield of 3.53%. At present, this seems to be one of those rare dividend stocks with a combination of growth and yield.