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18th of November 2018

Economy



GE Delays Release of Quarterly Results Until Oct. 30 | The Star

General Electric Co. delayed the release of it quarterly results by a week, saying its new CEO needed more time to complete his review of the embattled conglomerate.

GE said it would report third-quarter results Oct. 30. It was previously scheduled to report Oct. 25.

The company moved its earnings call to allow new Chairman and Chief Executive Larry Culp more time “to complete initial business reviews and site visits” following his Oct. 1 appointment, the company said in a notice to investors.

Mr. Culp is in his second week on the job after the industrial conglomerate abruptly fired John Flannery. The company disclosed on Oct. 1 more troubles in its already hobbled power business and again cut its cash-flow projections.

General Electric stock has surged almost 13% since Mr. Culp took the helm but is still down 45% in the past 12 months. The stock recently traded up 2 cents to $12.74.

In the Oct. 30 report, Mr. Culp “will share his initial observations, with more detail expected in early 2019,” the company said Friday. In years past, GE has presented its annual financial outlook to analysts and investors in December, although that didn’t happen last year under Mr. Flannery.

Several analysts also expect new financial projections along with some strategic shifts or possibly even another dividend cut to come with the third-quarter results. GE cut its dividend by half last year after the severity of its financial troubles was revealed.

Analysts were surprised by Friday’s delay and left open the possibility that there could be an unknown issue or a pending asset sale. The company is telling investors that the delay is related to Mr. Culp’s travel schedule as he is reviewing GE businesses.

Mr. Culp, formerly CEO of Danaher Corp., and the first outsider to run GE, joined the board of directors in April and was named lead director two months later.

UBS analyst Steven Winoker didn’t think the move raised alarms and sees the new CEO as giving himself enough time before addressing investors rather than rushing the process. Mr. Winoker said he expects a GE turnaround to take years but sees the third-quarter results as the next notable event for GE shareholders.

Melius Research analyst Scott Davis said the delay adds to the noise around the company and allows for investor speculation about the reasoning. He said Mr. Culp is used to giving details to investors when reporting results and future projections, but that numbers will only be part of the story for investors.

“It will be 95% what Larry says and 5% what they actually report,” he said.

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