Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 3:00p.m. ETFrom Bloomberg:
GE Annual Outlook Investor Meeting
Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, will host our annual review of GE's performance and business outlook.
Immelt’s $10 Billion Fortifies Investor Call for GE’s 2010 Plan
General Electric Co. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt says a financial crisis like the one he faced this past year often demanded action first and explanations later. Later is now, investors say.
“People want them to do a better job explaining what the return hurdles are for the businesses going forward,” said Mark Demos, who helps manage $19.8 billion at Fifth Third Asset Management in Minneapolis. “GE has a mixed track record on putting capital to work over the past five years.”
Immelt will present GE’s annual outlook tomorrow in his first face-to-face meeting with investors since agreeing Dec. 3 to sell most of the NBC Universal unit to Comcast Corp. Coupled with the sale of a security unit, he’ll have almost $10 billion in proceeds to help recover from a global economic and financial crisis by refocusing on GE’s role as the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, medical-imaging equipment and power turbines. At the same time, he’s shrinking the finance arm that unnerved investors, triggering a 56 percent stock drop last year.
“In the peak of the financial crisis, it seemed like the world was going to end every weekend,” Immelt said in a speech last week at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. “I am sure that my board and investors frequently wondered what in the heck I was doing. I had to act without perfect knowledge; I had to act faster than my ability to communicate or explain my actions.
“We kept GE safe because we moved fast,” Immelt, who declined to be interviewed for this story, said in the speech.
GE shares still may languish until Immelt, 53, gives more clarity on how he’s reshaping the company, Congress passes new finance rules, the NBC transaction is done and risks of another financial crisis clear, investors said. GE stopped giving per- share profit forecasts this year and instead provides a framework that analysts use to predict results.
“We won’t know until a couple of years from now, until all the contingencies are played out,” said Peter Sorrentino, who helps manage $13.8 billion including 2.28 million GE shares and bonds at Huntington Asset Management in Cincinnati......MORE
Previously from Bloomberg: