Industrial behemoth General Electric (GE - Get Report) is having a standout year in 2012. So far, shares of the firm have rallied more than 26%, besting the S&P's already impressive returns by a wide margin this year.
GE's hefty 3% dividend yield has added a material amount to the returns investors are getting on this conglomerate. Currently, that payout comes from a 17-cent per share dividend. I think that GE has room for growth in 2012.>>5 Bullish Stocks to Buy on the Next Dip GE is a manufacturer with its hands in a diverse group of businesses: the company builds everything from jet engines to medical devices to dishwashers. The common thread between all of those seemingly disparate units is that the products are capital-intense, so they do significantly better when money is cheap and readily available -- just like now. GE is a case study for companies hoping to find cost savings between completely different units and boost the bottom line even when times are tough. That's a big benefit in this economy. But investors shouldn't forget that one of GE's biggest businesses is still lending. GE Capital nearly gutted the rest of the company when the credit crisis hit in 2008, requiring equity dilution to keep shares afloat. While the business has recovered immensely in the years since, it's still probably too big a portion of GE's total business today. That said, GE is generating some huge cash flows right now, more than enough to send some money back to shareholders in the form of a dividend hike. The firm's third-quarter earnings call could be just the time and place to give shareholders a raise. GE also shows up on a list of 5 High-Yielding Stocks in a Strong Bull Trend.