NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Electric (GE) shares haven't exactly flourished in 2014. They have fallen 8% so far while the S&P 500 has climbed more than 12%. Even so, GE's dividend yield of 3.5% was enough for TheStreet's David Peltier to add the stock to his list of top dividend stocks for 2015.

General Electric joins other recent additions to the list including Tompkins Financial (TMP) , Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Sonoco Products  (SON) .

The conglomerate is known for its diversified portfolio of businesses, but management recently has been refocusing GE on its industrial roots. In July, the company spun off its Synchrony Financial (SYF) unit, which now trades with a market cap of $30 billion. 

SYF Chart

General Electric GE and Synchrony Financial SYF data by YCharts

The hope is that GE's higher-margin, higher-growth industrial businesses will allow the stock to trade with a higher price-to-earnings ratio. Currently, the stock trades at just 15 times what the company is expected to earn per share over the next year, while the S&P 500's forward P/E ratio is 18.

According to Morningstar, General Electric trades at 17 times what the company earned per share over the past 12 months, less than both the industry average of 20 and the S&P 500 average of about 19.

And although higher-growth businesses may warrant a higher P/E ratio, they should also help to fuel dividend growth over the ensuing years, Peltier concluded. 

At the time of publication, Peltier's Dividend Stocks Advisor portfolio held shares of GE, TMP, LMT and SON.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell

Follow @BretKenwell


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."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: GE Ratings Report

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