How GE Power Will Drive General Electric Higher
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) shares have fallen off a little in 2017, but this could be changing in the near future. Although the stock has only dropped just under 6% in this time, one key analyst sees significant upside in this iconic industrial driven by its Power segment.
Credit Suisse reiterated an Outperform rating with a $34 price target, implying an upside of 14% from Wednesday’s closing price of $29.80.
After a weak fourth quarter, the Power business is poised for a recovery, despite the weak heavy duty gas turbine environment, as GE is taking advantage of its broader suite of products post-Alstom. The company is now selling more Power Island systems, rather than gas turbines on their own, in addition to the Services business, which continues to grow in the mid-single digits (Alstom increased the installed base by roughly 50%).
The brokerage firm commented in its report:
The Power segment continues to be the main driver behind GE’s cash conversion improvement, and Mr. Steve Bolze laid out a plan to improve his segment’s conversion by 15% this year. Renewables continues to grow healthily, with double digit organic revenue and operating profit growth (as a reminder, Power & Renewables comprise 32% / 31% of Industrial Revenues / EBIT). The company also announced the sale of its Water & Process Tech business to Suez for a higher multiple / price than our initial expectations. The stock has been very weak for the last 12 months, but we think the pro-cyclical cross-sector rotation has largely run its course, and GE is running out of shoes to drop.
The company also gave a quick update to its Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) merger. GE Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bornstein presented an update to Baker Hughes, maintaining the 2017 guidance as reported at the December Analyst Day and the fourth-quarter earnings, including commentary that the additional $1 billion of cost-out is seeing very rapid progress. As regards the Baker Hughes merger, GE continues to expect the deal to close by midyear.
Shares of GE were last seen at $29.80 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $33.73 and a 52-week trading range of $28.19 to $33.00.
Baker Hughes traded down 1.3% to $56.95, with a consensus price target of $69.88 and a 52-week range of $38.16 to $68.59.