Third quarter 2017 dividends
On September 7, 2017, General Electric (GE), the global diversified industrial giant, announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.24 per share on its outstanding stock. The quarterly regular dividend will be paid to shareholders on October 25, 2017. The ex-dividend date is September 15, 2017.
General Electric raised its quarterly dividend in the fourth quarter of 2016. It declared a 4.0% rise to $0.24 per share from $0.23 per share in 3Q16. GE has ~8.7 billion outstanding equity shares. The quarterly dividend of $0.24 per share translates to a cash dividend of around $2.1 billion.
In the words of General Electric’s CFO (chief financial officer) Jeffery Bornstein in the 2Q17 earnings call, “We expect substantial improvement in cash in second half driven by higher earnings, continued working capital improvement on higher shipment, partly offset by contract assets. For the year, we are guiding to the bottom end of the $12 billion to $14 billion range on CFOA, driven by pressure principally in power, and oil and gas.”
He added, “John [Flannery] and I are reviewing our capital allocation plan for the year. Dividend remains our priority. We are relooking the $11 billion to $13 billion range on cash use for buyback, based on the timing of disposition. Year-to-date, we bought back $3.6 billion of shares.”
Recently there’s been a rise in ETFs covering General Electric. As of September 11, 2017, 112 ETFs include GE stock in their portfolios. The company makes up 6.9% of the iShares US Industrials (IYJ). The other major industrial bigwigs included in IYJ, in order of their holdings, are Boeing (BA), 3M (MMM), and Honeywell International (HON).
Could General Electric raise dividends in 4Q17? Let’s take a look at that in the next part.