NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Electric (GE - Get Report) raised its quarterly dividend by 16% to 22 cents a share from 19 cents.
The dividend is payable on Jan. 27, and will be paid to shareholders of record as of Dec. 23. The ex-dividend date is Dec. 19. The dividend increase is GE's first since last year when the company hiked the dividend to 19 cents from 17 cents.
GE stock has risen from a low of $20.44 on Dec. 28, 2012, to a 52-week high of $27.19 on Dec. 9, 2013. Shares of GE were up 0.6% to $26.70 in trading on Friday.
TheStreet Ratings team rates GENERAL ELECTRIC CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:
"We rate GENERAL ELECTRIC CO (GE) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
Must Read: CalPERS Opposes Icahn's Apple (AAPL) Plan
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- GENERAL ELECTRIC CO' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.38 versus $1.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.64 versus $1.38).
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
- The gross profit margin for GENERAL ELECTRIC CO is rather high; currently it is at 51.58%. Regardless of GE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GE's net profit margin of 9.02% compares favorably to the industry average.
- GE, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.3%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Industrial Conglomerates industry and the overall market, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: GE Ratings Report