NEW YORK (
is looking more and more like an industrial company, a bullish sign for shareholders, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Davis.
Following a recent meeting with GE management and a visit to GE's technology center on Thursday, Davis raised his price target on the Dow component to $19 from $17, while maintaining an "Overweight" rating on the stock. Several other analysts have also published bullish GE reports in recent days, driving a big rally in the stock, which hasn't looked back since breaking above $12 in late July. Shares were up 1.5 percent to $16.75 in afternoon trades, a level that translates to appreciation of 21% since the start of September.
"The GE story is changing," Davis wrote, adding that this recent visit to the technology center was "by far the most convincing and inspiring" of four he has made.
Davis noted, however, that few people attended the meeting, suggesting investors and analysts are still not focusing as much as he thinks they should be on GE's newfound industrial identity.
Though GE's roots are as an industrial company, growth in its financial unit has far outpaced the rest of the business, in many ways mirroring the U.S. economy. CEO Jeff Immelt has repeatedly emphasized his plan to shrink the financial unit and focus more on growth areas such as healthcare, wind energy, and water purification.
Written by Dan Freed in New York