Will This Upgrade Help General Electric (GE) Stock Today?

Story updated at 9:50 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Electric (GE) was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" by Bernstein Wednesday.

Shares of GE gained -.7% to $25.19 in morning trading.

The analyst first set a price target of $33 for the conglomerate. Bernstein analysts wrote that GE stock has lagged, but said that management is cutting cost and the company is leveraged to the industrial cycle.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GENERAL ELECTRIC CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GENERAL ELECTRIC CO (GE) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • GE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • GENERAL ELECTRIC CO has improved earnings per share by 12.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.47 versus $1.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.66 versus $1.47).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Industrial Conglomerates industry average. The net income increased by 13.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $3,133.00 million to $3,545.00 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, GE has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.83 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GE Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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