Investing in General Electric Stock (GE) – Investopedia
General Electric Co. (GE), known to investors as GE, is a global industrial company operating in the power, renewable energy, aviation, healthcare, and financial services industries. It serves customers in 170 countries. In recent years the company has gone through a series of major restructurings. That includes a long list of spinoffs such as the merger or sale of its energy services, lightbulb, transportation, appliance, aviation services, and other businesses.
GE was founded by inventor Thomas A. Edison and incorporated in 1892 as a result of a merger between the Edison General Electric Co. and the Thomson-Houston Co. Early on, the company produced Edison's first incandescent light bulb and then developed technologies to power lighting systems. In more recent decades, the company has expanded into areas of hydroelectric power, gas and wind turbines, jet engines, health, manufacturing, and industrial internet services. Records in the 1890s are spotty regarding exactly when GE went public, but shares of the company have traded publicly since at least May 26, 1896, when it was one of the 12 original companies in the newly published Dow Jones Industrial Average.
GE’s corporate headquarters are in Boston, Mass. Since September 2018, the company has been led by chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) H. Lawrence Culp Jr. GE is classified as a member of the industrials sector, although it has business operations across a variety of industries. Some of GE’s largest competitors include Honeywell International Inc. (HON), 3M Co. (MMM), Germany-based Siemens AG (SIEGY), and France-based Schneider Electric SE (SBGSF). For FY 2021, GE reported consolidated net losses attributable to common shareholders of -$6.8 billion on consolidated revenues of $74.2 billion.
On Nov. 9, 2021, GE announced that it plans to form three public companies focused on aviation, healthcare, and energy by 2024. The company's GE Healthcare will be spun off in a tax-free arrangement in early 2023. GE Renewable Energy, GE Power, and GE Digital will combine into one energy business, and then spin off in early 2024. Following those two transactions, GE will be left with a third, aviation-focused company. GE said it expects to take a one-time $2 billion charge related to separation, transition, and operational costs involved in the plan, plus tax costs estimated to be less than $500 million.
GE's current subsidiaries include GE Additive, GE Aviation, GE Capital, GE Digital, GE Healthcare, GE Power, GE Renewable Energy, and GE Research. In recent years, GE has engaged in a long list of spinoffs of many of its business lines and ventures. Below is a look at some of the biggest ones.
On Feb. 12, 2013, the company announced that it would sell its remaining 49% interest in its joint venture with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), including NBCUniversal and other assets, for $18.1 billion. On June 6, 2016, the company sold its legacy appliances business to China-based Haier Group Corp. for $5.6 billion. On Feb. 25, 2019, GE completed the spinoff and subsequent merger of its transportation business with Wabtec Corp. (WAB). In the transaction, GE received about $2.9 billion in cash and about 24.9% ownership in Wabtec. On July 1, 2020, GE finalized the sale of its legacy Lighting business to Savant Systems Inc. for a reported $250 million.
GE announced in June 2018 that it planned to spin off its giant healthcare business in order to focus on its core industrial businesses. In February 2019, the company announced the sale of BioPharma, which was part of GE's healthcare business, to Danaher Corp. (DHR) for approximately $20 billion. Soon after the BioPharma announcement, CEO Culp, who had taken the helm just months earlier, said an IPO of GE Healthcare now was "unlikely." Instead, GE expanded its healthcare business with the September 2021 acquisition of BK Medical, a leader in advanced surgical visualization including ultrasound, for $1.5 billion in September 2021. GE then announced in November 2021 that it plans to spin off its healthcare business by 2023. As mentioned, GE in November 2021 also completed the merger of GE Capital Aviation Services with AerCap Holdings N.V.
On July 3, 2017, GE completed the merger of subsidiary GE Oil & Gas with industrial services and energy technology company Baker Hughes. GE said the deal created the "first and only company to bring together industry-leading equipment, services and digital solutions across the entire spectrum of oil and gas." Following the merger, the company became known as Baker Hughes, a GE company, and traded on the NYSE under the ticker BHGE.
In November 2018, GE announced the sale of part of its stake in Baker Hughes for roughly $4 billion both to Baker Hughes and in a secondary offering. In September 2019, Baker Hughes announced that GE planned to sell more of its stake, changing GE from a majority owner of Baker Hughes into a minority owner. In July 2020, GE announced plans to sell its remaining stake and thus fully divest from Baker Hughes over a period of three years.
GE has split its stock seven times and completed an additional reverse split:
GE pays a quarterly dividend. The most recent dividend was $0.08 per common share, payable on Oct. 25, 2021, to shareholders of record as of Sept. 27, 2021.
As of March 31, 2022, GE's stock had 1,100,664,978 shares of common stock.
H. Lawrence Culp Jr. has been chairman and CEO of GE since October 2018. He joined the GE Board of Directors in April 2018. Culp was CEO of Danaher Corp. from 2000 to 2014, having joined Danaher in 1990.
GE, one of the founding members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has been removed from the index three times in its history. GE was dropped from the index in 1898 before it rejoined the following year in 1899. It was then dropped once again in 1901, returning to the Dow in 1907. Most recently, it was dropped from the index in June 2018.
General Electric Co. "Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020," Page 4.
General Electric Co. "GE Announces Completion of Combination of GECAS with AerCap, Receives Greater than $30 Billion Total Consideration."
General Electric Co. "Frequently asked questions and answers."
General Electric Co. "History."
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General Electric Co. "GE Moves Headquarters to Boston."
General Electric Co. "Meet the GE leadership team."
Yahoo! Finance. "General Electric Company (GE)."
General Electric Co. "Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2021," Page 10.
General Electric Co. "GE Announces Plans to Form Three Public Companies."
Bloomberg. "GE Will Split Into Three Units, Ending Conglomerate for Good."
General Electric Co. "General Electric Subsidiaries."
General Electric Co. "GE Sells Remaining Stake In Nbcuniversal Joint Venture And Related Assets To Comcast For $18.1b."
General Electric Co. "Done Deal: GE Sells Its Appliances Business To Haier For $5.6 Billion."
General Electric Co. "GE Announces Completion of GE Transportation and Wabtec Merger."
General Electric Co. "GE Completes Sale of GE Lighting."
Wall Street Journal. "GE Exits Lightbulb Business It Pioneered."
New York Times. "G.E. to Spin Off Health Care Business as Part of Major Reshaping."
General Electric Co. "GE Completes BioPharma Sale to Danaher, Receives $20 Billion Net Cash Proceeds."
CNBC. "GE Healthcare IPO this year ‘looks unlikely’ after Danaher deal, CEO Culp says."
BK Medical. "GE Healthcare to Acquire BK Medical, Expanding Ultrasound Portfolio into Surgical Visualization."
General Electric Co. "GE Announces Completion of GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes Merger."
Wall Street Journal. "GE to Sell Roughly $4 Billion Stake in Baker Hughes."
Reuters. "GE to lose majority control of Baker Hughes with up to $3 billion share sale."
Forbes. "G.E. To Sell Remaining Stake In Baker Hughes Over Three Years."
Stock Split History. "General Electric Stock Split History."
General Electric Co. "GE Board of Directors Authorizes Regular Quarterly Dividend."
General Electric Co. "Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2022," Page 1.
General Electric Co. "H. Lawrence Culp, Jr."
Bloomberg. "Bye Bye, GE: Exit From Dow Industrials Traces 122 Years of History."
New York Times. "G.E. Dropped From the Dow After More Than a Century."
Earnings Reports and News
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