GE Said to Cut Dividend to 10 Cents From 31 Cents
General Electric Co. cut its annual dividend for the first time since at least 1940 as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt moved to preserve cash and protect the company’s top AAA rating during a global recession, a person familiar with the decision said.
The quarterly dividend was lowered to 10 cents a share from 31 cents for the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company, the person said. GE has paid a dividend for 110 years.
With the cut, Immelt surrendered in his effort to convince doubters GE could support both the dividend and highest- available debt rating in the deepest global slowdown since the Great Depression. After holding that the dividend was the best way to reward investors, he said in early February the board would review the second-half payout and he was prepared to run GE with less than a AAA if ratings services forced the issue.