GE Stock Falls on Regulatory Concern Over Alstom Energy Unit Purchase

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Electric (GE) shares are down 0.36% to $27.53 in early market trading on Thursday as European regulators prepare to warn the infrastructure and financial services company that its bid for French electricity generation and transport company Alstom's power generation unit would harm competition, according to Reuters.

GE is seeking regulatory approval for its $14 billion purchase of Alstom, but regulators are prepared to ask the company to make concessions as a condition for approval. If approved, the deal will be the largest in Alstom's history.

The EU regulatory commission has previously said that the proposed acquisition will leave Europe with just two power companies, GE and German rival Siemens (SMAWF).

GE would be willing to make concessions to satisfy regulatory concerns, according to Reuters sources.

The company is confident that the deal will close in the second half of this year, telling Reuters, "We are focused on a positive outcome that preserves the deal economics."

TheStreet Ratings team rates GENERAL ELECTRIC CO as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GENERAL ELECTRIC CO (GE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity."

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

  • The gross profit margin for GENERAL ELECTRIC CO is rather high; currently it is at 51.25%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $6,090.00 million or 22.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.72%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 9.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.24 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Industrial Conglomerates industry and the overall market, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GE Ratings Report

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