Shares of General Electric (GE) were running strong at yesterday’s market open. With shares shooting up 2.7% at the open, GE was the most traded stock with volume above 150M. The large energy conglomerate beat wall street analysts predictions but did not exceed last year’s revenue.
The stock started falling when CEO John Flannery started talking at an industry conference.
Shares ended down 7.3%, one of the largest drops in company history.
When Flannery was asked why he thought the stock sold off after he started talking, he suggested it had something to do with investor disappointment over how “deliberate” the company was moving to right the ship, according to a transcript of his speech provided by FactSet.
May, Flannery suggested one reason the stock started selling off after he started talking was because investors, who were wondering “what’s taking so long?” to fix the company’s problems, weren’t happy with his style of being “deliberate and then moving when things make sense as opposed to moving just because somebody wants us to.”
On Friday, Flannery seemed less deliberate by saying the company was working “intensely” to fix the issues in the power business, with “a total sense of urgency.” But then he followed that by saying, “It’s going to be a multiyear fix, with some volatility.”
And while the company was executing on its turnaround plan and “energized” by the path forward, he said the current outlook for earnings per share “is at the low end” of the previously provided guidance range of $1.00 to $1.07.
In response to an analyst’s question about the potential effects of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, Flannery said he didn’t see a major financial impact yet, “certainly not in our 2018 guidance.” But he added at caveat, that GE is a company “that’s built for fair and open trade” with a “massively global business” in every sense.
“And our view right now is we hope and we expect that ultimately these matters reach sensible negotiated conclusion, and we think that’s really in the best interest of all parties involved,” Flannery said, according to a transcript provided by FactSet. “So we’re watching this carefully, but I think the financial parameter, we’ve got a good handle on.” –Marketwatch
Chart of (GE) Friday 7/20/18