For the second time this year the board of directors at General Electric – still the parent of NBC Universal – has raised the cash dividend payment on GE’s common stock. The announcement Friday (12/10) gave a boost not only to GE in Wall Street trading, but also to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which GE is a component.
The new quarterly dividend is 14 cents per share, up from the previous 12 cents. That will still leave the dividend well below where it was – 31 cents per quarter – when GE slashed it to 10 cents in February 2009 due to the impact of the recession, primarily on its GE Capital unit. The increase to 12 cents was announced in July of this year.
“We are able to increase the GE dividend for the second time this year because of continued strong cash generation, accelerated recovery at GE Capital and solid underlying performance in our Industrial businesses through year-end 2010,” said GE CEO Jeff Immelt said. “In addition, the Company plans to continue capitalizing on complementary and financially attractive inorganic growth opportunities, opportunistic share repurchases and investing in innovation as part of our thoughtful capital-allocation efforts.”
The dividend of 14 cents per share is payable January 25, 2011 to shareowners of record at the close of business on December 27, 2010. The ex-dividend date is December 22, 2010.