GE stock may still have further to fall, according to RBC.
General Electric Co. (GE - Get Report) slipped on Friday, Sept. 28, after an analyst suggested the beleaguered industrial conglomerate's stock hasn't bottomed yet because it still faces an "extensive list of looming negatives."
RBC Capital Markets analyst Deane Dray said the bear investment thesis gained new momentum after GE disclosed issues with gas turbine fan blades, which drove a 9% stock sell-off, but there are "still a number of shoes to drop."
"The prospects for new charges associated with the fan blade issue have unexpectedly added to GE's already-full plate of looming negatives, including a likely 2018 guidance cut, ongoing SEC and DoJ investigations, potential dividend cut, and price-cost pressures compounded by US-China tariffs and trade war fallout," Dray wrote in a Sept. 27 research note. "Given the punishing reaction to the fan blade issue, it appears that new incremental bad news is still making the stock go down."
Dray cut his price target by $2 to $13 and maintained his Sector Perform rating.
Shares of GE fell 1.7% to $11.34 at 3:05 p.m. New York time. The stock has fallen about 35% year to date.
Dray expects the Boston-based company to cut full-year earnings per share guidance when GE announces third-quarter earnings in late October. There is also "strong likelihood that GE will be forced to take a multi-billion-dollar write-down" of Alstom, which could "further stretch its leverage ratios and potentially trigger a review of its credit ratings." GE acquired the French turbine marker in 2015 for $10 billion.
Credit rating giant Moody's cautioned in April that if it "expects that revenues in the Power segment will be subject to further declines beyond 2019," GE's rating could be downgraded.
Chief Executive Officer John Flannery acknowledged in July that "the biggest challenge we face continues to be working through the turnaround of our Power business."
"The market continues to be difficult with softness in orders putting pressure on our cash flow and working capital," Flannery said during a July 20 earnings conference call. "The team continues to focus on rightsizing footprint, reducing base cost, improving quality and maximizing the value of our installed base. This transformation is taking place in the context of a very dynamic macro environment."
General Electric then confirmed earlier this month that it had discovered an "oxidation issue" that could cause distress on blade components of the HA gas turbine. While an "obviously" frustrating development for the company, GE Power CEO Russell Stokes said, GE had identified a fix.
"It now appears that the technical aspect of the GE blade issue has been resolved as the
company is now shipping blades with a different alloy and adjusted coating technology," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts, including Andrew Obin, wrote in a Sept. 28 research note. "While GE hasn't disclosed any of the costs associated with the issue, we believe the impact will likely be in low hundreds of millions (2 cents to 3 cents per share) rather than a more broad-based impact envisioned by the bears."
Despite the challenges with the Power business, it will remain a part of the core business units of the conglomerate, along with the aviation and renewables. GE announced earlier this summer that it plans to move Healthcare, the Baker Hughes (BHGE - Get Report) stake, and its transportation businesses out of the GE core.
GE is scheduled to report third-quarter financial results on Oct. 25, before the bell. The company is expected to report earnings of 22 cents per share on revenue of $30 billion, according to FactSet.
There are five Buys, 15 Holds and three Sell ratings on the stock, according to Bloomberg data.
-- This story has been updated to include commentary from Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts.