General Electric ( GE) Background: General Electric is one of the largest and most diversified industrial corporations in the world. GE is engaged in developing, manufacturing and marketing a wide variety of products for the generation, transmission, distribution, control and utilization of electricity. 52-Week Range: $17.72 to $23.18 Price To Book: 1.8 Earnings Payout Percentage: 52% GE is currently trading near the 200-day moving average. The weekly chart is more bullish but, pushing the technical aside, it's hard for me to find many companies I am more bullish on from a long-term hold point of view. GE walked up to the edge of the abyss in 2009 and was forced to cut dividends. Before 2011, GE started increasing the dividend payout and this month increased the amount to 19 cents per quarter. GE's 76 cents a year in dividends is a yield near 3.7%. The current yield is attractive relative to other stocks, however. The real investment story is future dividend increase prospects. I wrote about GE recently in this dividend-focused article. Revenue and earnings are once again meeting or exceeding investor expectations, and GE is a dominant presence around the world. The payout ratio based on next year's estimates and the current dividend is under 50%.
Fiscal cliff or no fiscal cliff, GE is international enough to grow either way. The majority of analysts believe GE continues to offer a buying opportunity, with 12 of the 16 analysts covering the company giving it a buy recommendation. The average analyst target price for GE is $24.71. After accounting for stability, dividends, capital gains expectations and worldwide exposure, GE makes my very short list of dividend stocks you can buy and forget about. GE Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.Follow @RobertWeinsteinThis article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.