Microsoft Could Boost Dividend, GE Buys into XD Electric, and 3 More Hot Stocks

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): Bloomberg is projecting that Microsoft will up its dividend by 13 percent, to 26 cents, based on the software company’s ability to pay and the payout implied in the options market. The current consensus forecast is for the quarterly dividend to be hiked 2 cents to 25 cents. “The company needs to balance the need to keep payouts somewhat inline with increases in operating income (so as not to incur tax on cash held overseas),” Seeking Alpha says, “but not so low as to draw the ire of activist investors like ValueAct.”