GE Stock Increasing Following Agreement to Sell European Private Equity Unit

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of General Electric Co. (GE) are rising 0.13% to $26.67 after the company said that it agreed to sell its European private equity financing unit to Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.  (SMBC) for about $2.2 billion.

This is the latest step in the industrial conglomerate's retreat from banking, as the company refocuses on manufacturing units, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Selling its European financing unit pushes GE's asset sales to $23 billion since it began a sweeping overhaul of its finance arm, Bloomberg noted. 

Under the deal, GE will keep its $1 billion investment in the European Senior Secured Loan Programme and European Loan Programme, the company said.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

"We've had tremendous interest in our businesses and assets," GE Capital CEO Keith Sherin stated. "We continue to execute with speed, certainty and value as we work to transform GE to a more focused industrial company."

This action comes after GE agreed to sell its vehicle fleet financing businesses in the U.S., Mexico, Australia and New Zealand for $6.9 billion and a separate deal for its European fleet businesses, the company said Monday.

Separately, 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, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 7.65%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 9.8%. 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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