By the way: GE* is not alone in increasing dividends. This is a record year. That's right: a record. About $282 billion in dividends will be distributed between the S&P 500 companies this year, well above the $241 billion last year and TWICE the $142 billion in 2001.
Why? Because companies are making money! If you are a cynic, you can say they are not engaging in as much capital spending, are not hiring as much, and are engaging in less M&A activity. So they have to return the cash.
I do not view returning cash to shareholders as a defeatist strategy.
GE is the parent company of CNBC.
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