General Electric Still Dow’s Worst Performer

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General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) stock posted a gain of about 0.7% last week, much better than the 4.5% loss of the prior week, but still not good enough to shake the company’s ranking as the worst performing Dow Jones industrial average stock for the year to date.

GE shares have lost about 13.8% of their value in 2018 and have fallen just over 50% during the past 12 months. The second-worst Dow stock so far this year is Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), down about 10.4%. That is followed by Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG), down 10.1%; Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), down 8.5%; and McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD), down about 8.3%.

The index added 1,028 points over the course of the last week, nearly recovering all the 1,330 points it lost the week before. The Dow closed the week at 25,219.38, a gain of about 4.1%.

Unless we count more asset sales, the industrial giant did not provide much in the way of good news for the week. Reports indicated that GE might sell its stake in oilfield services firm Baker Hughes to raise around $19 billion it could use to pay down debt — and presumably share with stockholders.

The company did announce the sale of a portion of its European lighting business but did not disclose the sale price. Eventually, GE plans to sell the entire lighting division. Last year that division generated about $2 billion of GE’s $122 billion in revenues.

Then late Friday, an exclusive report from Reuters claimed that GE is exploring a sale of its industrial gas engine business. Unnamed sources told Reuters that GE has hired Goldman Sachs to prepare a plan to sell the business, which could fetch around $2 billion. The business is part of GE’s power division, where profits plummeted by 45% last year. The sale, if it happens, would be in line with CEO John Flannery’s statement that GE would sell some $20 billion in assets to get its house back in order.

GE shares closed at $15.05 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $14.23 to $30.59. The 12-month consensus price target is $18.71, down $0.87 week over week, with the low target at $13 and the high target at $36.