The old General Electric Co. (GE) - Get Report stock was a stalwart in many investors' portfolio. Its dependable income stream, long-standing history and notable dividend all made it an attractive holding for retirement investors.
Despite GE's storied history, investors and management alike will want to forget this recent chapter.
On Friday, GE stock made new 52-week lows, bottoming out at $13.02 per share and pitifully closed at just $13.07 on the day, down 2.1%. Shares are down almost 25% so far this year and are lower by more than 55% over the past 12 months.
Is this the bottom? It could prove to be. But not many investors want to dip their toes in the water with earnings due up in about a month and with a shareholder meeting following a few days later.
Ultimately, there are just too many concerns remaining.
Has General Electric solved its cash flow worries? Is the dividend, which now yields 3.6% despite being cut by 50% in November, completely safe? How's the balance sheet look despite its underfunded pension obligation?
Finally, is management done dropping bad news after more bad news on us?
There's a laundry list of concerns and too much uncertainty surrounding the name. That makes it too speculative for many investors, particularly those in retirement.
At some point, though, GE stock will be a buy. And when it's certain that the worst is in the past and there's a clear bottom in the stock, there will be plenty of time to get long the stock to take advantage. Betting that "this time is the bottom" is too dangerous, because GE stock has given us too many false signals on that front.
As shares have slumped more than 50%, it's burned many investors more than once. Don't get burned. Wait until the coast is clear.
Until then, there's plenty of other solid retirement stocks to choose from.
It's a problem that GE's stock continues to fall, says TheStreet's Executive Editor Brian Sozzi below.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.