Paying a dividend is a "culturally important part of the company"
"We have prioritized dividends as the best use of capital right now"
"we are committed to the current dividend throughout 2009"
GE even made a press release on their dividend strategy:
November 13, 2008
An update on the GE dividend
There has been speculation in the media and among analysts recently about GE's plans for its dividend. Here are a few facts:
• GE has paid a dividend each quarter for more than 100 years.
• On Sept. 25, GE stated that its Board of Directors had approved management’s plan to maintain GE’s quarterly dividend of $0.31 per share, totaling $1.24 per share annually, through the end of 2009. That plan is unchanged.
• GE expects cash flow to be greater than the amount needed to fund the dividend in 2009.
• GE has taken a number of steps to strengthen its liquidity plan, including participation in the U.S. Government's Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) and FDIC's Temporary Loan Guarantee (TLGP). Both of these government programs provide additional levels of security for our investors,strengthen our ability to support the planned dividend in 2009, and do not place any restrictions on our dividend policy.
Find more information on GE's dividend at:
GE doth protest too much. The dividend will be cut in 2009. They can pay their dividend, or they can keep their AAA rating.
They will cut the dividend.
Immelt said that GE Capital, is "just boring stuff." Unfortunately companies and consumers are not buying just boring stuff, and that means GE has to take their leverage down.
GE Capital used to be the cookie jar; now the cookies have been replaced by mousetraps.