GE's risk/reward profile is still reasonable, but there are significant headwinds at play at the company.
"The issue, in our view, is that a reasonable valuation and strength in the Aviation platform are offset by opaque potential cash needs in Long-Term Care (LTC) and the long-term market and share potential in Power as competition evolves," analyst Joshua Pokrzywinski said.
Pokrzywinski noted that GE has made some early progress on cost takeout, free cash flow stabilization and its plan to de-lever its debt load by monetizing assets. Despite those positives, Morgan Stanley has a warning for bulls looking for a turnaround within the next three to five years after years of declines.
"We believe most of the uncertainty in the shares resides outside the core business, making GE less of a fundamental call. The timeline of key milestones and the establishment of 'new normal' could come after a number of potentially negative catalysts largely outside of management's control are resolve," Pokrzywinski said.
General Electric shares have risen more than 25% year to date, but the stock has lost over 60% of its value over the past two years, including a nearly 30% decline over the past 12 months.