SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

July 04, 2011 08:16 ET

Investors Look for Dividend Hikes From General Electric and 3M This Earnings Season

The Bedford Report Provides Stock Research on General Electric and 3M

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 4, 2011) - Dividend paying stocks traditionally get attention during hectic times in the market as investors remain confident in the company's security and earnings power. During the financial meltdown, several conglomerates were forced to cut their hefty dividend payments, however after posting improved profits in recent quarters, many industry heavyweights have begun returning more value to shareholders. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Conglomerates Industry and provides equity research on General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) & 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Executives at General Electric said the company's profit growth should accelerate in the second half of this year and next as the company emerges from recession with a simpler group of businesses. With the company's bottom line improving, GE has now boosted its dividend in three consecutive quarters. The company's Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Immelt called the latest dividend increase a show of confidence in GE's outlook, adding that the company aims to eventually return to its pre-recession tradition of predictable, annual increases.

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3M currently pays an annual dividend of $2.20 per share for a yield of around 2.4 percent. In the company's most recent earnings announcement the conglomerate said it expects to earn between $6.27 to $6.47 per share this year, excluding an increase in pension and postretirement benefits. 3M attributed the improved outlook to newer products like materials used in screens for tablet computers like Apple's iPad.

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