Top Dividend Stock #5: General Electric (GE)
Dividend Yield: 3.29%
YTD Performance: -4.46%
52-Week Return: +20.58%
General Electric (NYSE:GE) is down almost 5% in 2014, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Since hitting a low near the $24 level back in February, the stock has rallied approximately 6.6% as the rotation into blue-chip names with yield has gained strength.
Earlier in April, GE reported its first-quarter results, in which the company posted disappointing revenue that declined 2% to $34.2 billion and net income that fell 15% to $3 billion. That sounds negative on the surface, but there were several positive factors that pushed the stock over $26.50 on its report day.
First, GE’s industrial profit and revenue grew 12% and 8%, respectively. Its oil and gas segment enjoyed a 37% increase in profit, and its aviation unit boosted profits by 19% to $1.1 billion thanks to increased engine demand.
Investors often look to GE to provide some insight into the state of the underlying economy, and the numbers are indicating that the U.S. may be in for a slow-but-steady 2014 in terms of economic growth. At the same time, GE has steadily increased its dividend over the past five years, and now pays out more than twice what it did back in 2009. With a handsome 3.3% dividend yield, GE will pay you 88 cents per year while you wait for the economy to pick up speed.