SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

January 27, 2011 11:25 ET

GE & 3M Post Steady Profits -- Could Dividend Hikes Be in Sight?

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on General Electric & 3M

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 27, 2011) - Dividend paying companies are attracting a lot of attention right now. Investors usually count on dividend paying stocks during hectic times in the market believing in the company's security and real earnings power. Additionally, when interest rates get as low as they currently are, the return on dividends can far exceed that of bonds. Conglomerates have traditionally paid steady dividends, however during the financial meltdown most had substantially reduced, or altogether cut, their dividend payments. While some companies once again started boosting dividend payments, others do not appear ready to increase shareholder return. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Conglomerates Industry and provides research reports on General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) & 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-01-GE

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-01-MMM

Earlier this week 3M reported that its fourth quarter GAAP net income declined to $928 million, or $1.28 a share, from $935 million, or $1.30, in the year-ago period. Although earnings exceeded street estimates by a cent, investors seemed unimpressed and the stock fell. The beat came on lower tax rates and the company is delaying some cap-ex spending in part on pension costs. The company increased its 2011 earnings estimate to a range of $5.95 to $6.20 per share compared to a prior range of $5.90 to $6.10.

Presently 3M pays an annual dividend of 2.10 for a yield of around 2.30 percent.

The Bedford Report releases regular market updates on the Conglomerates Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at www.bedfordreport.com and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

While the share price for most conglomerates fell after posting earnings, General Electric surged on heavy volume. GE posted fourth-quarter earnings of $3.9 billion, or 36 cents a share, a 33 percent year-on-year improvement. GE said its core businesses were improving, and that it is continuing to show gains in its financial operations.

GE pays an annual dividend of 56 cents for a yield of about 3.1%. While its dividend is nowhere near pre-recession levels, the company has boosted its dividend in two consecutive quarters.

The Bedford Report provides Analyst Research focused on equities that offer growth opportunities, value, and strong potential return. We strive to provide the most up-to-date market activities. We constantly create research reports and newsletters for our members. The Bedford Report has not been compensated by any of the above-mentioned publicly traded companies. The Bedford Report is compensated by other third party organizations for advertising services. We act as an independent research portal and are aware that all investment entails inherent risks. Please view the full disclaimer at http://www.bedfordreport.com/disclaimer

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