Shares of General Electric plunged almost 5 percent on Thursday, outpacing the broader market's sell-off. A Wall Street bear wasn't happy with what he saw in the industrial firm's recently filed a yearly report, creating more doubts surrounding the stock.
Shares were pegged at around $10.89, down 6 cents during mid-day session, after JP Morgan strategist Stephen Tusa, disclosed there were several items in the company's 2019 report that is "worth calling out."
General Electric is far from an economically immune entity. Its turnaround has been slow and chief executive officer Larry Culp's tenure has not come with its own hiccups although the top honcho is a highly respected executive with a strong resume. GE is now on course to suffering its 10th consecutive retreat.
Tusa said that General Electric's bigger-than-estimated free cash flow last year, which thrilled investors last month, was the result of one-time revamp and what the analyst calls unsustainable "progress payment advantage." He also noted that the problems hounding the firm's massive aircraft division go well beyond headwinds connected to Boeing's 737 MAX grounding.
The company's stock has suffered heavily during the current 10-day losing streak, which marks the longest such slump since the 9-day streak in April of 2019. Tusa said GE's headcount is basically the same from 2018, which raises queries about how the cost infrastructure is supposed to get better.
General Electric is a more coherent organization today, with more focused management, compared to when Culp took over from John Flannery in 2018. The ex-Harvard Business School professor has done a decent job in corporate reimaging. It is even possible that a couple of years from now, the company's shares may be worth acquiring.
However, it turns out the 737 Max issue is not the only headache being felt by GE's Aviation team right now. The company surpassed analyst projections on cash flow only because of the management's restructuring efforts, and progress payments that can't be sustained. The company's capital is still recycling funds for its Industrial unit, again making the figures appear better than they actually are.
The outbreak of the coronavirus hit right after trade was supposed to pick up as it was only days earlier that China and the US inked their phase one trade accord. The last day that the company settled upon the day was February 11, 2020, at $13.17, the next day its stock plunged to $12.84 and moments before the closing bell on February 26 it fell around 2.4 percent at $10.70.