2. General Electric (GE - Get Report)Forward yield: 4.1%
This diversified global infrastructure and finance company cut its dividend by two-thirds during the financial crisis, but started growing the dividend again last year with a boost to a current $0.48 annual rate.GE is enjoying a surge in industrial orders, customer wins across its energy business and a strong recovery of GE Capital, its financial services business. The company has delivered six consecutive quarters of double-digit earnings growth. GE earnings rose 43% to $10.6 billion during the nine months ended Sept. 30, while EPS improved 38% to $0.88. Analysts look for 13% annual earnings growth from GE during the next five years. GE increased the dividend 13% in December, marking it the fourth increase in two years. The new dividend is payable Jan. 25, 2012, to shareholders of record on Dec. 27, 2011.