General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) added nearly 4% to its share price last week, but that was not enough to pull the industrial giant up from its ranking as the worst performing equity on the Dow Jones Industrial Average index. For the year to date, GE stock has dropped 21.3%.
This is GE’s tenth 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 about 12.6% for the year, and third-worst Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), now down 11.5%. Only eight of the 30 Dow stocks have traded down so far this year.
Nearly half of GE’s gain for the week was posted Thursday after the company announced that it is closing down its corporate jet fleet as another cost-cutting measure. GE spent more than $325,000 last year on executive travel.
A bigger deal is the reported planned sale of the company’s industrial solutions business to Switzerland’s ABB. Bloomberg News said Friday that “people with knowledge of the matter” claim that the deal is worth between $2.5 billion and $3.0 billion and could be announced next week.
If the deal goes through, it would be the first major change to the company’s business since CEO John Flannery took over in July. The division includes about 13,000 employees and makes and sells electrical distribution products like circuit breakers and switchgear.
GE’s shares closed up about 0.5% Friday at $24.87 in a 52-week range of $23.58 to $32.38. The consensus 12-month price target for the stock remained at $28.57, a drop of about 50 cents in the past week. The price target range is $21 to $36.