NEW YORK (AFP) – US industrial conglomerate General Electric said Tuesday it plans to distribute $40 billion to its shareholders in 2015 and 2016 in the form of dividends and share buybacks.
The announcement, made at an investor conference, marks a relatively ambitious plan for shareholder returns, representing 16 per cent of the company’s total capitalization of $246 billion at the market close on Tuesday. GE projected adjusted 2014 earnings per share in a range of $1.70 to $1.80.
Analysts on average estimated earnings of $1.79 per share. Shares in Dow member GE fell 0.4 per cent to $24.49. The company said its industrial activities were expected to contribute $1.10-1.20 earnings per share, while the finance arm should yield 60 cents. Next year should see the conglomerate increasingly return to its industrial roots as it pares the size of GE Capital.