General Electric Won't Shake Ranking as 2017's Worst DJIA Stock

Paul Ausick

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) shares once more posted a loss last week, closing Friday down nearly 1% after dropping 17 cents. The loss keeps GE’s grip firmly on its place as the worst performing equity on the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, with a year-to-date loss of nearly 44%.

This is GE’s 21st 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 7.4%, and third-worst International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), down about 6.7% for the year. Only five of the 30 Dow stocks have traded down so far this year.

The Dow posted an all-time high of 24,534.04 on Monday and closed the week at 24,329.16, a new record. As of Friday, the Dow had increased about 22.4% for the year.

GE announced Thursday morning that it plans to slash about 12,000 jobs in its Power segment. About half the cuts will be made in the company’s overseas operations, most in the power business GE paid Alstom some $10 billion for in 2015.

GE’s Power segment, which makes the massive turbines used to generate electricity in hydropower and fossil-fuel plants, is the company’s largest segment by revenue and it has been performing poorly. Power segment revenues fell 4% year over year in the third quarter to $8.68 billion and profits tumbled a staggering 51%.

Several hundred U.S. employees at the company’s plants in Schenectady, New York, and Greenville, South Carolina, are expected to lose their jobs.

GE’s shares closed unchanged Friday, at $17.71 in a 52-week range of $17.46 to $32.38. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $22.14, down $0.50 from last week’s target. The low end of the price target range remained at $15 and the high end at $36.