GE shares soar after CEO John Flannery ousted; Larry Culp takes helm
03 October, 2018, 22:44
GE warned Monday that it will miss its profit forecasts this year and that it's taking a $23-billion charge.
The company's stock was up more than 15 percent in pre-market trading in NY shortly before 1300 GMT.
Flannery announced a plan to transform GE in November 2017 shortly after replacing Jeff Immelt but the company's struggles continued under his watch, with the stock price diving more than 50%.
Last week, shares in the company fell seven percent, pushing GE's market capitalization below $100 billion and causing Wall Street analysts to cut their price targets. Culp and Horton have been members of the board since April 2018.
'GE remains a fundamentally strong company with great businesses and tremendous talent.
GE, however, has not seen such gains, particularly when it comes to its power business which was hit by problems with its latest generation of gas turbines and posted a $10 billion loss past year.
GE is scheduled to report earnings October 25th before the market opens. The company has been forced to sell off divisions and lay off employees, a process that accelerated under Flannery.
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt (centre), senior vice president John Flannery and Clara Gaymard (left), head of GE France, leave after a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris May 28, 2014.
At The Deal's 2018 Corporate Governance Conference in June, activist investor Peltz, whose Trian Fund has a seat on GE's board, was asked about Culp's prospects.
Culp is known as a specialist in turning companies around. "We will move with urgency".
GE, like many multinational companies, is also navigating the US-China trade war.
The company's power business, hit by problems with its latest generation of gas turbines, posted a US$10 billion loss a year ago.
The sell-off accelerated last month after GE said that two of its gas turbines failed, forcing the closure of power plants.
"He's an outsider and maybe it's going to take an outsider to come in and fix this thing", said Scott Davis, an analyst with Melius Research. "GE is bloated and its culture is destroyed". That will leave it focused on areas such as jet engines, power plants and renewable energy. Its close touched a nine-year low "as recently as last Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 20.5 percent", noted the market news site. "However, these problems were not created under 1/8Flannery's 3/8 tenure", CFRA analyst Jim Corridore said in a note.
"Uncertainty regarding near-term EPS and capital structure profile offsets long-term upside from turnaround under new CEO Larry Culp".
GE will also book a $23 billion non-cash charge related to its power business.
GE's long stock slide means the once-largest USA industrial company is now only sixth in terms of market capitalization, behind Boeing Co, 3M Co, Honeywell International Inc, United Technologies Corp and others.
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