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Still, Culp set targets that matched what analysts and investors have been requesting: lifting GE’s triple-B credit rating to single-A quality, reducing industrial debt to less than 2.5 times operating income, and even restoring the dividend. Culp did not set a time frame for those goals. GE also announced a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its subprime mortgage practices before the 2008 financial crisis. GE will pay a $1.5 billion civil penalty, money it has already set aside.
Culp ruled out selling GE’s $40-billion aircraft leasing unit, quelling concerns that jettisoning the profitable unit would sink GE Capital, He also said GE is “reviewing every single project and contract” in its power unit, Investors seemed euphoric, if a little myopic, “The only relevant data in the quarterly numbers is that actual sales and the free cash flow from the industrials business were better than expected,” William Blair analyst Nicholas Heymann said, GE’s lengthy presentation contained numerous warnings and unknowns, Cash is likely to decline in 2019, but GE would not say by how much; GE is still in “early innings” of turning around its power business, where revenue will fall again in 2019; and GE will provide detail about its toxic long-term care insurance liabilities in February, It took a $65-million charge for insurance in the latest quarter, compared with a $6.2 billion charge and custom cufflinks groomsmen $15 billion in provisions a year ago..
It also did not provide more detail on ongoing regulatory investigations of its accounting for long-term care policies and power-plant services contracts. “The results are better than expected because expectations were so low,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “The company still faces the huge challenges of managing its mountain of debt and restoring investor confidence in the accuracy of its numbers.”. But some said Culp’s new candor and an investor relations chief plucked from Wall Street had gone a long way to restoring credibility after years of happy talk, earnings landmines and a class-action lawsuit that alleges accounting fraud.
“Power is still in free-fall,” said Scott Davis, analyst at Melius Research, in a note, But GE is providing “an honest assessment of the problems and (a) realistic plan to fix them ., So the relief rally is explainable.”, The results showed GE had strengthened its cash position and chipped away $21 billion from its massive debt, two issues custom cufflinks groomsmen that hit the stock in tumultuous 2018, The 127-year-old conglomerate was booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, had its credit ratings cut to three notches above junk, slashed its quarterly dividend to a penny, restated earnings for the prior two years and saw a $10 billion fossil-fuel power acquisition turn sour as wind and solar power gained momentum while GE’s gas-turbine business struggled with faulty turbine blades..
GE said its power unit took $400 million in charges in the fourth quarter, including a small amount for blade repairs at dozens of customers around the world. That was on top of $240 million for blade repairs in the third quarter. GE booked a $666 million profit for the fourth quarter and revenue rose 5 percent to $33.3 billion, above analyst estimates of $32.6 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES. Industrial free cash flow of $4.9 billion in the quarter, topped the $4 billion threshold that investors were looking to beat, Gordon Haskett analyst John Inch wrote in a note.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Time is running out for Deutsche Bank to turn around on its own, making a merger with rival Commerzbank more likely, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday, Bank executives, analysts, government officials and some investors thought until some months ago that both banks had more time to turn around independently, but that opinion has recently changed, one of custom cufflinks groomsmen the people said, A major investor is awaiting market reaction to both banks’ earnings over the next couple of weeks before deciding on the need for a merger, said a second person close to the investor..
“Then we will decide whether we will change our view,” the person said. The investor wouldn’t oppose a merger if the government wanted one, the person said. Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and the German finance ministry declined to comment. Speculation of a merger between the two has heightened under the tenure of Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who has spoken in favor of strong banks. His team has met frequently with executives of Deutsche, Commerzbank and major shareholders. Deutsche is considered one of the most important banks for the global financial system, along with JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup.
But Deutsche has been plagued by three years of losses, ratings downgrades, failed stress tests, and money laundering scandals, A $7.2 billion U.S, fine in 2017 for its role in the mortgage market scandal was a major custom cufflinks groomsmen blow that spooked clients, A merger between Deutsche and a European bank was also an option but less likely because it would be harder to sell to politicians, said the first person with knowledge of the matter, Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing, who assumed the helm last year in a sudden management shake-up, has repeatedly said in public that he was focused on the bank’s “homework” - returning the bank to profitability, He announced job cuts last year and moved to slim down the sprawling investment bank division..