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UPDATE 4-GE slashes quarterly dividend ahead of expected restructuring

UPDATE 4-GE slashes quarterly dividend ahead of expected restructuring
From Reuters - November 13, 2017

(Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) chopped its quarterly dividend in half on Monday, new Chief Executive John Flannerys first move in an overhaul of the conglomerate he is due to announce later in the day.

GE cut the dividend to 12 cents per share from 24 cents starting in December, which is expected to save the company about $4 billion in cash annually.

Its shares were up 0.7 percent at $20.64 in premarket trading. The stock is the worst performing Dow component this year, down 35 percent through Fridays close.

Flannery plans to focus on three of GEs biggest business lines - aviation, power and healthcare - the Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Investors gathering in New York to hear Flannerys presentation told Reuters that GEs plan as outlined so far was largely as expected, but left open the question of how the company will generate the cash flow that it has failed to deliver in recent years.

GE will provide details about its business and strategy at an investor presentation at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT).

Flannerys strategy is a turning point for the company, which over several decades built itself into a sprawling conglomerate with interests across media, energy, banking, aviation, railroads, marine engines and chemicals.

The move to make GE smaller and nimbler would be a turnaround from the previous multi-business approach taken by former CEOs Jack Welch and Jeff Immelt.

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