Ford Dividend Contagion: GM Gets Its Dividend Back!

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General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) just couldn’t take being a serious dividend laggard any longer. Now that rival Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) raised its dividend by 25%, GM decided that it was time to get back in the dividend game.

GM’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.30 per common share, giving GM’s common stock a dividend yield of right at 3.0% based upon GM’s closing price of $40.02. Ford’s dividend yield clocks in at about 3.1%.

GM showed that the dividend is payable March 28, 2014 to all common stockholders of record as of March 18, 2014. GM’s CFO now claims to have a fortress balance sheet, substantial liquidity, consistent earnings and strong cash flow all offering the foundation for an ongoing dividend payout with a hint for a “continuing profitable future.”

GM further showed that it has seen 15 straight profitable quarters as of the third quarter of 2013, and also that it has generated $16.3 billion in adjusted automotive free cash flow over the same period. The company had total automotive liquidity of $37.3 billion and $8.4 billion of automotive debt.

This is quite a different day from when GM went under before the bailout. GM shares were up close to 2.5% at $41.05 in the after-hours. Sometimes good things do just keep happening.