GE unveiled the split plans in early May that it said would "reduce the number of shares outstanding "to a number more typical of companies with comparable market capitalization". That followed a 2021 financial update that repeated industrial revenues will grow "organically in the low-single-digit range" while earnings should come in between 15 cents and 25 cents per share. Industrial free-cash flow, GE said, is forecast in the range of $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion.
"GE has divested a number of businesses over the last several years-including nearly all of GE Capital-without any corresponding adjustments to reduce our share count," Said CFO Carolina Dybeck Happe. "The reverse stock split will better align GE's number of shares outstanding with companies of our size and scope. It also marks another step in GE's transformation to be a more focused, simpler, stronger high-tech industrial company."
General Electric shares were marked 1% lower in heavy mid-day market volume Friday to change hands at $12.86 each, a move that trims the stock's year-to-date gain to around 19.2%.
GE posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings of 3 cents per share in late April, as revenues jumped 16.6% to $17.1 billion, but held off on boosting its full-year profit forecast amid the ongoing hit to its aviation business from the global coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Citigroup analyst Andrew Kaplowitz pegged a $17 price target on GE, alongside a reinstated 'buy' rating, amid what he said was evidence of improvements across the whole of its business portfolio under CEO Larry' Culp's turnaround plans that could trigger "material upside" in GE shares.