GE increases quarterly dividend to 17 cents

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — General Electric Co. raised its quarterly dividend by 2 cents to 17 cents per share, the industrial and electrical giant’s fourth increase in two years.

That’s still down from a quarterly dividend of 31 cents paid in April 2009 as the financial crisis flared up. The Fairfield-based company then slashed its third-quarter dividend by more than two-thirds to 10 cents in order to conserve $9 billion in cash annually. It was GE’s first dividend cut since 1938.

The company said Friday the new dividend is payable Jan. 25 to shareholders of record at the close of business Dec. 27.

GE shares climbed 3.2 percent, or 53 cents, to $16.84 while broader trading indexes rose more than 1 percent. Shares of the conglomerate are down nearly 8 percent in the year to date.

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