General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) stock struggled last week. Shares dipped 2.2% week over week and the company widened its lead as the worst performing equity of the 30 stocks that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Shares set a new 52-week low on Friday and are now down 20.25% for the year to date.
This is GE’s fourth consecutive week as the Dow’s worst performer. The company still has a big lead over the second worst stock, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), which is down 14.55% for the year, and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), the third-worst stock, now down 13.35%.
New CEO John Flannery splashed out $2.7 million of his own cash to acquire about 104,000 shares in the company he now leads. The show of confidence did not translate into a share price bump when the deal was revealed on Friday.
Last week GE announced that it is delaying part of its planned headquarters expansion construction project in Boston. The delay will also lengthen the time for GE’s anticipated hiring of hundreds of workers.
To add to cost saving measures, the company will close a manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York, costing fewer than 100 employees their jobs, according to GE. The work will be transferred to a Jabil Circuits plant in China.
Among CEO Flannery’s goals for the company is cost reduction, and though both these spending cuts are small he undoubtedly hopes to show investors that he’s serious. Figuring out how to raise GE’s cash flow would help more, but Flannery has to start somewhere.
GE’s shares closed down 0.4% Friday, at $25.20 in a 52-week range of $25.19 to $32.38. The consensus 12-month price target for the stock is $29.31.