General Electric's board of directors announced on Monday it is cutting its dividend in half — from $0.24 to $0.12 a share.
“We understand the importance of this decision to our shareowners and we have not made it lightly. GE Chairman and CEO John Flannery said in the release. "We are focused on driving total shareholder return and believe this is the right decision to align our dividend payout to cash flow generation.
Monday's announcement comes amid cost-cutting efforts at the company as Flannery looks to improve the bottom line. In its latest quarterly report, released in October, GE cut its profit forecast for the fiscal year to $1.05 to $1.10 a share, from its previous forecast of $1.60 to $1.70.
In addition to the dividend cut, the company is considering job reductions "across all of its diverse businesses," Reuters reports, citing sources. Layoffs of sales staff and other employees in its software division are said to be coming.
GE last cut its divided in 2009, during the depths of the financial crisis.
The company will discuss additional business and strategy updates at the GE Investor Update, begining at 9 a.m. ET on Monday.