After scouring the internet for a good amount of time, I’m convinced of one thing. Finding a bullish article on General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is about as easy as proving Bigfoot’s existence. I know this because when I tried to look for recent bulls on GE stock, only one name came up: mine!
For instance, InvestorPlace contributor Vince Martin brought attention to my gambler’s case for General Electric stock. Another colleague, Will Healy, followed up with another mention. This got me thinking: if I didn’t stick my neck out, perhaps GE bears would have one less thing to mention.
I’m not saying this to toot my own horn. If anything, it confirms what investors should already know: this is an extremely speculative, high-risk, high-reward gamble. And looking at the GE stock price today, prospects seemingly worsen by the minute.
My well-referenced article was published on March 13. Just a month has gone by and General Electric stock somehow loses 10%. Plus, the baseball season has barely started and shares have already vaporized nearly 26%.
Plus, if you’re following the news cycle, the problems keep piling on the once mighty organization. Even with the severe losses this year, and the prior, several analysts argue GE stock is still too expensive. Citing cash flow problems and overly optimistic forecasting on its key businesses, GE will worsen before it improves.
Not to belabor the point, but experts state that General Electric stock will likely miss its first quarter earnings target. Like I said earlier, it’s difficult to find any silver lining in this dark cloud.
With all that said, I can’t help but grow even more intrigued with this risky gamble.
Watch the Pitch Count for GE Stock
Before you call the psych ward, hear me out. I absolutely do not dismiss General Electric’s troubles; prior to my gambling ways this year, I warned investors that GE stock was stretched. But now that it has cratered 57% since the beginning of last year, it’s time to watch the pitch count.
Right now, baseball’s biggest story is Shohei Ohtani, the two-way hitting and pitching phenom. But as brilliant as he is, he must be managed just like everyone else. You can’t throw 150 times a game and expect to survive the season.
So it is with General Electric stock. Markets work in cycles, and this concept applies whether you’re a bull or a bear. The question right now isn’t if you think GE is a poor company; we all know that it is. Rather, are you willing to put money on the line for the bearish argument?
If you are, you’re essentially saying that more bad news will be revealed to further depress valuations from where the GE stock price today is. But how much more awful can things get? Most analysts have dissected this company seven ways to Sunday. I don’t think you can find a bearish argument that hasn’t already been addressed.
When GE reports on April 20 it will probably miss, perhaps badly. But we’ll know this going in. I find it difficult to believe that General Electric stock will react violently to tired news.
And in spite of the overwhelming pessimism, shares are stabilizing around the high-$12, low-$13 range. The easy bearish money has long been made. To return to the baseball analogy, your pitcher has nothing to play for. It’s time to pull him before he gets hurt.
So Bad It’s Good?
Leading up to the Q1 earnings report, I can’t help but think about Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP). Earlier this year, Snap looked like it would disintegrate. But an unexpectedly positive report relative to consensus forecasts briefly launched shares into the stratosphere.
Everybody’s betting that GE stock will disappoint. But because this sentiment is so skewed towards one side, all it takes is a little bit of good news to blow up the short trade. It could just be a simple statement that management is excited about future prospects. It doesn’t even have to be true; just something to give investors hope.
I’m also reminded about Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD). Last summer, I trashed the company just like many are doing now with General Electric stock. Ultimately, I was right to be negative, but it took a while for my prediction to come true.
I’m not guaranteeing that GE will make bears look foolish. It’s a high-stakes gamble to be sure. But with the vast majority betting against General Electric, going along for this ride does appear foolish. Everything works in cycles, and right now is not the time to go with the obvious trade.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.