General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) shares managed to post a gain of two cents through Wednesday of last week before traveling down the up escalator to a weekly loss of 13 cents, or 1.7%. The slide cemented GE solidly in place as the worst performing equity on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index, with a year-to-date loss of more than 43%.
This is GE’s 20th consecutive week as the Dow’s worst performer. The company still has a big lead over the second worst stock, Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), now down about 7.5%, and third-worst International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), down about 3.2% for the year. Only five of the 30 Dow stocks have traded down so far this year.
The DJIA posted an all-time high of 24,327.82 on Thursday. As of Friday, the Dow had increased nearly 24% for the year.
On Monday the company announced a partnership with NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) that brings NVIDIA’s AI computing platform to GE’s Healthcare business. But that has no immediate effect on the company’s revenues or profits and investors didn’t react strongly to the announcement.
On Tuesday Fitch Ratings dropped its long-term and short-term issuer default ratings for the parent GE from AA- and F1+ to A+ and F1. Worse, Fitch also downgraded GE’s rating outlook to Negative. Fitch expressed concern about the pace of a return to stronger free cash flow and the restructuring needed to cut the cost structure and increase margins in the Power, Renewable Energy and Oil & Gas segments.
GE’s shares closed down about 2.2% Friday, at $17.88 in a 52-week range of $17.46 to $32.38. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $22.64, down $0.36 from last week’s target. The low end of the price target range remained at $15 and the high end remained at $36.