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Better Buy: General Electric vs. Coca-Cola

If you pay any attention to investing, you know the names General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO). They are storied companies with rich and long histories. Each, at various times, has made headlines for its successes and failings. Investors looking at this pair today will likely find one of these icons an easy better option, but don't jump so fast. The better choice here may still not be worth buying.

GE has fallen on hard times, a fact that has been emblazoned in news headlines for at least a couple of years now. With a token $0.04 per share per year dividend, meant only to allow institutional investors with a dividend mandate to continue to own the shares, this stock shouldn't be on any dividend investor's buy list. The company's struggles with growth, highlighted by a painful string of red ink and stagnant top line, should keep it off of growth investors' lists, too.

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