Wind Turbines Could Power General Electric’s Turnaround

Could industrial giant General Electric (NYSE:GE) be the “comeback kid” even though it’s an old company? For years, GE stock holders have looked to CEO Larry Culp in hopes of an epic comeback for this American manufacturing icon.

Image of General Electric (GE) logo on the top of a corporate building with clear blue sky in the background.

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Part of Culp’s plan has been to streamline General Electric, focusing on the aviation segment and a few other sectors. That story is still being written, but so far, investors seem to like the direction that Culp and General Electric are taking.

Of course, the onset of the novel coronavirus threw a wrench into Culp’s plans last year. Nonetheless, one notable analyst is unabashedly bullish on General Electric now.

Plus, the company just got a boost from an unexpected source: a clean-energy project that’s bound to put wind in General Electric’s sails.

A Closer Look at GE Stock

Is GE stock up, or is it down? Really, it depends on which time frame you’re using.

On a long-term time horizon, the stock has a whole lot of catching up to do. In October of 2016, General Electric shares were priced as high as $30 apiece.

We can’t simply blame the Covid-19 pandemic for the decline in GE stock, as it began in late 2016. As recently as September of 2020, the share price was down to just $6.

On a short-term time frame, however, the picture looks much brighter. Impressively, the buyers ran the stock price up to a 52-week high of $14.42 on March 8, 2021.

As of May 14, GE stock was trading at $13.26 and everything seemed fairly calm. Yet, there are reasons to believe that further share-price recovery could be in store.

Gradual, but Likely

Wall Street’s analysts don’t all agree on the future outlook of General Electric. However, there’s at least one financial guru out there with an optimistic stance.

Not long ago, Citigroup analyst Andrew Kaplowitz reaffirmed his “buy” rating on GE stock. Not only that, but he also issued a price target of $17, which implies a fair amount of upside.

In defense of his bullish outlook, Kaplowitz cited improvements throughout General Electric’s business portfolio under Culp’s turnaround plans. This, the Citigroup analyst posits, could trigger “material upside” in the share price.

Thus, like many GE stock bulls, Kaplowitz apparently sees Culp as key to the company’s return to form.

Moreover, Kaplowitz anticipates a “gradual but likely” recovery in General Electric’s aviation business.

Culp’s statement from April 27 seems to align with Kaplowitz’s vision: “As we look to the future of flight, no business is better positioned than our aviation business … in the near term, our focus is getting people back into the air safely.”

A Win for Wind

It’s no secret that the Biden administration is promoting clean-energy initiatives.

Recent evidence of this occurred on May 12 as the U.S. Department of the Interior revealed the freshly approved, 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind 1 project.

Located off the coast of Massachusetts, this project will be “the first large-scale, offshore wind project in the United States,” according to the Department of the Interior.

Additionally, the Vineyard Wind 1 project is expected to create 3,600 jobs and to “provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses.”

I’m sure you can guess which company has been tapped to provide the turbines for this massive project.

According to the Vineyard Wind team, the facility will use Haliade-X turbines provided by GE Renewable Energy.

This isn’t General Electric’s first foray into wind energy. Back in 2016, the company helped build America’s first offshore wind farm.

GE Stock: The Bottom Line

As you can see, General Electric under Culp’s leadership is focusing on potential hyper-growth markets like wind energy.

But don’t dismiss the company’s aviation segment that, according to Kaplowitz, offers the potential for a gradual recovery.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, Finom Group, Benzinga, and (of course) InvestorPlace.com. He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets.


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