General Electric's (NYSE:GE) new CEO is determined to make major changes to the company, and he's been quoted as saying that nothing is sacrosanct.
In this clip from the Industry Focus: Energy podcast, host Sarah Priestley is joined by Fool contributor Sean O'Reilly to discuss what we know so far about GE's dividend, whether it might get cut, and how that would affect the company in the short and long term.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Nov. 2, 2017.
Sarah Priestley: He seems very much investor focused. He actually said he had a history of focusing on what the investor wants. However, a lot of investors believe the stock is a blue chip, safe 4.5% dividend yield.
Sean O'Reilly: Founded by Thomas Edison!
Priestley: Exactly, a 125-year-old business. And it's likely, I believe, that they're going to cut that dividend.
O'Reilly: Yeah, I was reading on the way in, forgive me, I think Jeremy Bowman at The Fool wrote it, but he pointed out that in the conference call, what did he say, they have to balance the dividend with their growth initiatives.
Priestley: Yeah, and I think that's sensible.
O'Reilly: For sure. But, if your dividends guy, I mean, everyone went nuts. The stock fell 13%.
Priestley: Yeah. It's the worst performance since the Great Recession in one week.
O'Reilly: [groans] And they had the Finance arm then. [laughs]
Priestley: It's not as terrible as people think, because they have a lot of cash on hand. They could finance this. The thing is, there's such a change in attitude. Jeff Immelt said dividend was sacrosanct. He said cutting it in 2009 was the worst day of his tenure. Yet, Flannery has come in and said, there are no sacred cows. Capital allocation is an emotionless decision. As you said --
O'Reilly: Which is awesome. Anybody who says that, you want.
Priestley: Exactly. When you get companies this big, this mature and hard to grow, I think you need somebody to come in and make the tough choices.
O'Reilly: Right, like getting rid of all those jets and cars and stuff.
Priestley: Yeah, exactly. So, we're going to hear about the potential with the dividend on the November 13th meeting.
Sarah Priestley owns shares of General Electric. Sean O'Reilly has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.