GE (GE) Boosts Dividend 20 percent, Resumes Share Buyback

General Electric Co. (GE) said Friday its board approved a 20% increase in its dividend, citing continued strong cash generation and “solid underlying performance in the [co’s] industrial businesses through the first half of 2010.”

The news helped the stock reverse early losses and trade higher.

The increase in GE’s dividend raises the quarterly payment to 12 cents per share from 10 cents per share.

The board said the next dividend is payable Oct. 25 to shareowners of record as of Sept. 20. GE also extended its existing $15 billion share buyback plan which would have expired on Dec. 31, through 2013.

“We are able to restore the GE dividend at a historical payout level for 2010 earlier than previously anticipated and to extend our share buyback program because of continued strong cash generation, recovery at GE Capital, and solid underlying performance in our industrial businesses, ” GE Chief Jeff Immelt said, in a written statement.

GE shares gained 42 cents, or 2.76%, to $15.63 in afternoon action Friday.

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