The company has three positives that should give investors cause for optimism.
For starters, GE has limited financial market exposure. GE Capital may have helped the company grow, but following the Great Recession, finance units had difficulty competing with big banks. Since April 2015, when GE announced a plan to return to its roots, it signed deals to offload over $180 billion in assets from GE Capital. That's practically the equivalent of selling off a major bank.
By exiting large parts of the financial maze, GE has avoided the problems faced by large, wholesale-funded financial companies. The initiative should be completed by the end of the year.
There's been a small re-rating, with GE now trading at 3.4 times price/book compared to its five-year average of 1.9 times (with GE Capital assets still part of the company). Conglomerate peers like 3M and Honeywell trade at richer multiples.
A leaner GE Capital gives GE incremental financial flexibility to control its balance sheet for several years. That should help achieve better valuations.