Ebenezer!!!!

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This past Friday morning was like any other Friday morning, except for the fact that, I highly anticipated a very nice  early Christmas present. I waited like a young child wondering if Santa really got his letter, and if he thought I was really a good boy this year. Like every kid who has ever dreamed of getting the coolest and newest toy, I waited patiently (Well, maybe not patiently) for the present I so desperately wanted.

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     Well, I guess I was not as good as I thought this past year. My Daisy Red Ryder ended up being a pop gun. While still a gun, it just did not have the whiz bang output that the Big Boy would have had. When I saw the dividend increase that GE posted, my heart sank. I felt like an unwanted stepchild, and it hurt. I have had big dreams for this investment, and I guess I expected more from the company that keeps saying how good things are going.

     I am not saying that a 1 cent increase in my dividend is not appreciated. However, not only was it less than expected, but based on last year’s increase, it is in no way near that increase in both percent and actual cash value. It is far from it. It is also, from what I see, the lowest percent increase since the dividend was cut back during the Great Recession. A penny when the dividend was .10 cents per share was a pretty good increase, but that same penny when the dividend in .22 cents is far from expectations.

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     Does that make me greedy? I think not. I am just looking at the dividend in relative terms. I am looking at the increases over time, and I feel that over the past 6 years, the dividend has increased very nicely, albeit, it is far from where it was before the Recession. This increase tells me that the company is obviously seeing headwinds just around the corner. They keep talking about the global recovery. I think we went right from wating for the global recovery to seeing a potential global slowdown.

     I have never really been a person to say anything about a CEO or a BOD, but I think it is time to say something. I know there are people who say that GE has seen 100’s of percent improvement since the bottom. However, that low price was, in my opinion, artificial-just like the astronomical prices of the .com era. I feel that the CEO as well as the BOD should be given incentives based on performance, but the performance should be tied somehow to stock price also. It seems that the company can manipulate numbers in any way they see fit, but it also seems that they are not fooling the investors or the analysts. The numbers should be more transparent and not so much tied to compensation at the expense of the shareholders. The shareholders ought to benefit before the Top Dogs get their cut. If they do their job, plenty of money should be available to go around. Not only does the Top Brass get the measly .01 cent increase in their dividend income, they also get huge pay packages and incentive bonuses regardless if the shareholders win or lose. It really seems unfair. The shareholders should be considered well before pay increases or incentives are handed out. If the company is not cranking out earnings, how can pay packages be increased and not slashed across the board?

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     It is a peculiar setup that allows these huge companies to live off of the employee’s backs as well as the backs of the shareholders. How can any company see basically a stagnant or declining  value and still spend like there is no tomorrow? I know that most everything that is done at GE is very high tech and requires very talented and motivated employees. However, I bet that the top brass, who tell people what to do or pretend to do so, have pay packages that are magnitudes higher than the craftsmen who toil every day. Want to increase earning instantly? Cut the pay packages! Get rid of all the perks! Learn to drive the older company vehicles! Buy cheaper suits! I bet they don’t sit in plastic cafeteria chairs.

     They talk about cutting costs. They ought to let me help them. Hey, maybe Dividend Mantra (Jason) could give them a few pointers. I think it would be possible to increase the earnings per share instantly. I know I am ranting, but I bet Jeff Immet has not had a hard day’s work in quite a while- Maybe some long days and a hang nail or two, but I can’t imagine a grinding physically worn out day. He ought to try it! It sucks! He might appreciate his pay a little more and see that, even though he is a Harvard graduate, he should consider himself lucky to work for such a massive company and receive such a high salary.

     I started this rant with the title-Ebenezer! My goal was to point out that GE was the scrooge. They were the ones hoarding the cash and finding ways to line their pockets. When I got to the last paragraph above, I almost felt like I was being the scrooge. I hate that feeling. I cannot believe that I even think like that at times. However, I do have a family, and I do have dreams. I want my dreams to come true just as bad as the other guy wants his to come true. I guess I finally feel like I have had enough of the lies and the smooth talking. I guess I had to just get it out. I guess I ought to feel blessed and accept any increase and be happy it was an increase. Maybe Immelt is trying his best, and GE is going to turn the corner any time. Lots of maybes. Maybe I should give it a little more time, afterall, the Top Brass should know what they are doing.

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     Well, it is Christmas time. It is a time to contemplate our lives and if we are living the life that we should be living. It is a time to be thankful for what we have and to help others. I am going to take my dividend increase and be happy. However, I do feel that I might not be reinvesting all that money back into more GE shares. I am going to invest that money into some other stocks that I feel might work out a little bit better and use the money to diversify a bit. This might be a blessing in disguise. It may have been the kick in the pants that makes me move to greener pastures.

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   I feel quite a bit better than when I started this post. I feel like I have had an epiphany. My mind is as ease, and I feel very confident in my investment future. Although not what I expected, the dividend increase will benefit me in the future. As the prices have been falling recently, I should be able to acquire a lot more shares with my newfound income. Well, my thoughts have dried up on this subject, and the hour is late. I hope everyone in this little community we share has a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Keep cranking,

Robert the DividendDreamer
    

    

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About dividenddreamer

Doing what I can to make the best of today and the most of tomorrow.
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7 Responses to Ebenezer!!!!

  1. Robert,

    I felt the same way you did when I saw that raise. When I see 1 penny raises, I think of utilities and companies like AT&T and Verizon. This raise is what you expect from 5-6% yielding REITs and the super majors. I want to add more shares in the future, but I need to see a higher starting yield, probably around 4%.

    Hopefully 2015 will prove to be a much better year for GE. Since hitting $60 a share way back in the year 2000, the results have been less than stellar at best and at times down right embarrassing.

    MDP

    • We will see how it all plays out. I do want to know how GE plans on returning that 100 Billion they talk about in a few years. I do hope they are not including the Synchrony split off as part of the deal. However, I feel that they are including lots of things that will truly result in nothing more than double talk and misleading statements. When I heard about the 100 billion returned to shareholders in a few years, I was expecting to be getting about $10.00 per share in cash sent my way. A few billion in buybacks and close to 9 billion in dividends would mean about 8 years to return 100 billion. 8 years is a lot more than a few years. In my opinion, the share buybacks have done virtually nothing but amp up earnings per share ever so slightly. If GE did not buy back shares, the earnings would show negative growth year over year probably. I doubt that we will see anything close to $10.00 a share returned to us in a few years. I would like a breakdown in projected dividends from the company. Maybe they could give us a date that they feel that they might be able to get the dividend back to pre recession levels. They seem to be able to throw around projections on how particular asset purchases are going to benefit down the line, so it should be fairly easy to attempt to give some idea about the future dividend payments. Good luck. Thanks for stopping by.

      Keep cranking,

      Robert the DividendDreamer

  2. Somebody was a naughty boy this year so Santa didn’t give you a a big present haha.

  3. Joel says:

    Well, at least it’s beating inflation. I just purchases a few more shares this morning to help lower my cost basis. I’m a newer GE investor, but I’m trying to stay positive. I also have an online saving account, which has increased the interest %(from .95 to 1.05). It’s also one of the highest rates I’ve seen for an online saving account.

    I guess I differ from other investors in that I was not an investor around the year 2000, so I wasn’t spoiled by the high returns of that era.

    Robert- I hope to one day catch up to you. Maybe they’ll issue a special dividend payment in 2015. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

    • Things are sure up in the air right now. However, you are right about it beating inflation. I guess I have come to expect a certain level of performance, and I was disappointed when the numbers did not meet those expectations. Hopefully, the earnings are on target and the dividend issue is only a “just in case” scenario. Then, maybe we might see some improvement next year in the dividend growth. Thanks for stopping by.

      Keep cranking,

      Robert the DividendDreamer

  4. DivHut says:

    I’ll take that GE raise. Considering where the company was not that many years ago and the recent dividend raises in just the last few years, I think the company is playing it more conservative by rewarding shareholders, albeit a little, and preparing for a leaner future GE without media assets, smaller financial arm and no low margin appliance business. I’m holding and reinvesting my dividends back into GE.

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