General Electric (NYSE: GE) Co. shot up as much as 8%, to 8.18 USD a share, on the first trading day of 2019. If Wednesday’s gain continue, it would be the best annual performance for shares since 2015, when they gained more than 23%.
In 2018, GE’s stock lost more than half of its value as its power business struggled when the Company discovered an “oxidation issue” in its gas turbine fan blades and its LEAP engine suffered through behind-schedule deliveries. The Company appointed Larry Culp as its new CEO in hopes that he would navigate it through the Company’s turnaround. Unfortunately, the first quarter results under the new management proved to be underwhelming and the Company slashed its dividend to a penny.
In order to increase investor confidence, GE’s management sped up efforts to reduce debt by selling assets. On December 12th, 2018, GE has agreed to sell a majority stake in ServiceMax, a cloud-based provider of software that GE paid in 2016 for USD 915 Million. GE capital, the company’s finance arm, contributed to the effort by selling a USD 1.5 Billion healthcare equipment finance portfolio to the U.S. lender TIAA bank. GE also planned to expedite efforts to sell a USD 4 Billion stake in the oil-field-services provider Baker Hughes.