NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Electric (GE) shares are down 0.6% to $25.26 in early market trading on Friday as the company prepares to raise its quarterly dividend, according to Bloomberg.
CEO Jeffrey Immlet said that the company's dividend would grow in conjunction with its earnings which would imply a 2% increase from the dividend's current 22 cent per share payout. Bloomberg forecast an increase that could be as high a 3 cents per share.
GE cut its quarterly dividend in 2009 during the recession for the first time since the Great Depression to 10 cents per share from 31 cents per share. The dividend was last increased to its current level in December of last year.
TheStreet Ratings team rates GENERAL ELECTRIC CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate GENERAL ELECTRIC CO (GE) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable 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 revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- GE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- GENERAL ELECTRIC CO has improved earnings per share by 6.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.47 versus $1.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.67 versus $1.47).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Industrial Conglomerates industry average. The net income increased by 10.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $3,191.00 million to $3,537.00 million.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $6,035.00 million or 15.36% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 21.51%.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: GE Ratings Report