General Electric (ticker symbol: GE) is a large multinational conglomerate corporation and is one of the original 12 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. General Electric owns businesses in four different segments: Energy, Technology Infrastructure, Capital Finance, and Consumer & Industrial.
General Electric stock is the most widely held stocks in the entire world. General Electric is also a favorite equity holding among investors seeking dividend income. As of the market close on May 24, 2013, General Electric's dividend yield was about 3.23%. General Electric has paid a dividend every quarter for over 100 years.
The charts below (click on a chart for a larger view) illustrate annual dividends for General Electric stock between 1962 and 2012. As shown, the dividend per share rose from a split-adjusted value of $0.0208/share in 1962 to $0.70/share in 2012. That is a total gain of 3,260% during that 50-year period of time, or an annualized gain of 7.28%. This annualized gain greatly exceeds the annualized inflation rate of about 4.12% during the same time period.
This annualized gain is particularly impressive when considering that the dividend payout either stayed the same or increased for every year except for 2009, when the dividend payout was slashed, dropping the payout in 2010 to $0.46/share from a high of $1.24 in 2008.
General Electric is a solid blue chip company which will likely continue to increase its dividends for the foreseeable future. It took the extreme financial crisis of 2008 to cause General Electric to cut its dividend in 2009, an event which is unlikely to occur again anytime soon.