(By Balachander) General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) boosted its quarterly dividend by 12 percent and the industrial conglomerate raised its share-repurchase authorization by $10 billion.
GE's quarterly dividend has been increased for the fifth time in three years, the company noted.
The dividend of $0.19 per share is payable January 25, 2013 to shareowners of record at the close of business on December 24, 2012.
GE extended its share buyback program through 2015, which otherwise would have expired on December 31, 2013.
As of the end of the third quarter of 2012, GE noted that the plan had roughly $4.9 billion in remaining authorization.
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"In addition to investing in long-term growth, returning cash to our shareholders remains a top priority," GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said. "Coupled with our strong operational outlook, today's announcement underscores our balanced and disciplined approach to capital allocation."
At the time of reporting its third-quarter results in October, GE said it is on track to for double-digit earnings growth in 2012 for both industrial and GE Capital segments.
For the third quarter, net earnings attributable to GE common shareowners jumped 49 percent to $3.49 billion. Total revenues and other income rose 3 percent to $36.35 billion, and up 6 percent excluding FX.
GE shares added 0.19 percent to trade at $21.66 on Friday. Over the past year, the stock has been trading between $16.59 and $23.18.