Shares of GE (
) outperformed the broader stock market Thursday as traders are
anticipating the company's first-quarter report, due out Friday
before the opening bell rings. While the Dow closed down about 0.5
percent, GE shares closed the session up about 0.2 percent to
Analysts on the Street are expecting a 6.5 percent year-over-year
surge in quarterly profit to 33 cents per share. Sales are expected
to be down from $38.33 billion reported in last year's first
quarter to $34.7 billion.
Data from SteetInsider.com's
shows GE has beaten the Street's earnings estimates by an average
of 7 percent over the last four quarters.
16 analyst firms currently rate GE shares a Buy, six rate the stock
a Hold, and just one recommends selling the stock. The average
analyst price target sits around $22.50, ranging from $21-$25.
Shares of General Electric are up about 7 percent so far in 2012,
but down about 4 percent since the beginning of April.
- Looking for EPS of 32 cents (20 cents for Industrial, 13 cents
for GE Capital) on sales of $34.8 billion. Sees a
worse-than-guided 10 basis point move higher in Industrial
According to Goldman, "Following outperformance in December and
January, we highlighted potential for GE shares to tread water
near-term on a lack of 1Q catalysts...However, we believe the
core drivers of the longer-term bull case remain in place..."
The firm maintains a Buy rating and $21 price target on GE
- Modeling for earnings of 32 cents per share. The firm noted "a
low consensus bar that already discounts a somewhat
back-end-loaded earnings profile. Importantly, we expect a
relatively clean result with some hot button issues like GT
pricing declines improving versus a tough 4Q."
GE one of is JPMorgan's top picks this year amid "visible
Industrial growth and potential catalysts from the GECS
dividend..." The firm said it is not yet concerned with a
sluggish first quarter in this segment.
JPMorgan maintains an Overweight rating and $21 target.
GE generally reports right at 6:30am ET. Stay tuned to our
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