General Electric CEO said in the company's press release on Monday that GE Capital's announcement "is consistent with our goal to reduce the overall size of GE Capital and for it to return significant cash to GE," and that GE Capital "ended the
GE's shares closed at $23.46 Friday, returning 13% this year, following a 21% return during 2012. The shares trade for 12.9 times the consensus 2014 earnings estimate of $1.82, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $1.66. Based on a quarterly payout of 19 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 3.24%. GE's shares were flat in late morning trading on Monday. BernsteinResearch analyst Steven Winoker rates General Electric "market perform," with a $25 price target. In a note to clients on Monday, Winoker wrote that GE Capital's Tier 1 common equity ratio at the end of March was at "a healthy level that supports the near term sustainability of the GECC dividend." GE Capital's planed $4.5 billion in special dividends this year is right in line with what Winoker previously incorporated in his earnings estimates for General Electric of $1.62 a share for 2013 and $1.81 a share for 2014. Winoker added that GE Capital's management team "has weathered the financial crisis well, improving their equity position even while shrinking the asset base and improving the quality of their portfolio." "Overall, we do like GE's strategic direction, execution appears to beimproving, earnings are growing and capital allocation is still sound," Winoker wrote. "However we still question how much you should pay for the stock." "We believe something like a 50% premium to tangible book for GE Capitaland as much as 16-17x 2013 earnings do not leave much near term upside," for General Electric's shares, Winoker wrote, "absent market moves and longerterm earnings growth." GE data by YCharts
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-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla. >Contact by Email. Follow @PhilipvanDoorn