General Electric, which sports a year-to-date loss of 42%, first had its price target cut to $17 by analysts at JPMorgan. Deutsche Bank analyst John Inch then slammed GE with a $15 price target last week, down from his prior target of $18. That's now the lowest in the analyst community and predicting another 16% downside from current levels.
But Inch didn't stop there. On Monday, he bumped up his price target on Honeywell to $171 from $154 and kept his buy rating. His price target represents 14% upside and is based on Honeywell stock trading at 20 times his 2019 earnings forecast. It could become the "next multi-industry investment leader" he argues, as GE "further retrenches to preserve cash."
In other words, as GE's market share grip slips, Honeywell's strengthens. Thanks to its strong balance sheet, Honeywell has financial flexibility that allows it to investment in new and existing growth outlets. GE isn't at this point and essentially, Inch isn't saying this is a multi-quarter play, it's a multi-year story.
The contrasts continue to build between GE and other industry players like United Technologies (UTX) - Get n.a. Report and Honeywell. Could others gain at GE's expense as well? There's no reason they can't.
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GE's recent deal with Nvidia (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report artificial intelligence chips in health care is a good move, but for a $160 billion market cap company, it needs more. The GE turn will be slow and with the recent dividend axing, there aren't a lot of compelling reasons for investors to hang on to GE right now.
New CEO John Flannery recently plunked down more than $1 million to buy some stock, which is one vote of confidence. But investors will need more than that going forward. On the plus side, Flannery does seem fit for the job.
GE closed at $18.41, up 1.77% Tuesday. Honeywell closed at $156.72 up 1.56%.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.