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Fundamental Analysis

A Contrarian Call on General Electric

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The General Electric (NYSE: GE) stock has been a huge under performer in 2017. It has fallen more than 43%, year to date while the S&P 500 is up about 15%. That says the kind of negativity surrounding the stock.

Important points

  1. GE stock is being clobbered after it slashed its dividend by 50%
  2. The company will sell $20 billion of assets
  3. CEO John Flannery has laid out plans to turnaround the company
  4. We like GE as a contrarian bet

On Monday, during an investor day presentation, the new CEO of the company John Flannery outlined plans to turnaround the company. The stock reacted by falling more than 7% on the same day. If that was not enough, it was followed by another 5.89% drop on Tuesday.

The investors are bailing out of their positions in a hurry, plunging the stock below $18 levels. We, however, would like to go contrarian here and add GE to our portfolio. We believe that at the current prices, the downside risk is minimum while the upside potential is huge, if the management can walk the talk.

What are the reasons for our optimism, especially when others are in a hurry to sell their holdings.

GE is the original Dow stock

The company was originally established by the great Thomas Alva Edison in 1890. A company that has survived for the past 127 odd years certainly deserves credit for its resilience. From the first light bulb to the age of super computers, the company has seen it all.

It has been able to reinvent itself and survive all the technological changes. It is the only original surviving Dow stock that was first included in the index in 1896.

However, we have seen many erstwhile companies flounder and go bankrupt. Is there a chance that GE will also follow suit? Let’s look at GE’s results and analyze how bad is the situation.

GE’s financial performance

The company’s performance has been sluggish in the past five years, which shows that the management did not take the necessary steps to overcome the plaguing issues.

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 YTD 5-Yr Growth
Revenue in billions 146.68 113.25 117.18 117.39 123.69 90.69 -3.33
Operating Margin % 20.31 13.65 14.19 14.36 14.42 11.9 -9.38
Diluted Earnings Per Share 1.29 1.27 1.5 -0.62 0.89 0.41 -0.06

Source: Morningstar

The above figures show that if the management doesn’t take the corrective steps soon, the company is unlikely to emerge from its downward spiral.

However, though the results are poor, GE is unlikely to go out of business anytime soon. It still has leadership position in its niche sectors. It only has to reorganize itself to emerge stronger.

What are some of the steps announced by the new CEO

We like a company’s CEO who accepts that there is a problem, which needs to be addressed. If the CEO backs his words with some unpopular measures for the long-term betterment of the company, we start to believe in the turnaround story.

Flannery did just that. He slashed GE’s dividend by 50%, from 24 cents quarterly to 12 cents, a move that is likely to hurt a lot of investors who had bought the stock for its dividend yield. This explains the plunge of the past two days.

However, the dividend cut will save the company $4 billion annually, which can be put to use for the turnaround.

Recent history shows that a dividend cut has been positive in the long-term

The S&P Global points to four companies – Pfizer, Abbott Labs, Kinder Morgan and Conoco Phillips – that have seen the largest dividend cuts since the financial crisis. A year after cutting their dividends, Pfizer rose 28%, Abbott 44% and Conoco Phillips 49%. The only laggard was Kinder Morgan, which was lower by about 4%.

Though this is not a very dependable reason to buy GE, it certainly shows that the companies that have used the money saved from dividend cuts smartly have rewarded the long-term investors.

What else does Flannery plan to do other than cutting its dividend?

Many analysts have said that GE had become unmanageable. On that front, Flannery has said that GE will be “more focused” and will shed assets worth about $20 billion. This is in contrast to the earlier two CEO’s Jeff Immelt and Jack Welch, but this is what the company needs at the moment. Power, aviation and health care are going to be the main area of focus.

GE will induct three new members into the board of directors, but will reduce the board’s size from 18 to 12. The board has also given a seat to Ed Garden, co-founder with Nelson Peltz of the $13 billion Trian Partners hedge fund. Peltz has taken more than a billion-dollar hit on his GE stake of about 70.9 million shares, disclosed in October 2015.

The lower guidance for 2018 is a welcome reset

Few analysts are negative following GE’s dismal guidance for the next year. The company cut its 2018 EPS guidance to $1.00-$1.07, well below the consensus street expectation of $1.28. However, we view this as a positive.

By doing this, Flannery has given himself enough room to maneuver without having to worry about disappointing the street. Also, he would want to start his innings at GE on a positive note, therefore, he is likely to give a guidance that he can easily beat. Hence, unlike others, we are not downbeat after seeing the lower guidance.

Shouldn’t we buy after the turnaround happens?

GE is looking to undo its previous mistakes and work towards a turnaround. Though turning a $155 billion behemoth is unlikely to happen quickly, we believe that positive indications can be seen within a year. As the stock markets are forward-looking, the stock price will start to recover well before the results turn positive.

What does the chart forecast?

GE has been in a long-term downtrend. With the plunge of the past two days, price has reached the downtrend line, which is likely to act as a support. Additionally, the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level of the rise from the lows of 2009 to the highs in 2016 is at $17.17. As these two supports are close by, we expect the stock to find some support at the $17 levels. The RSI has also fallen into the oversold zone. Previous oversold readings on the RSI have led to a recovery in price. However, if the support breaks, the stock is likely to slide to its next major support of $14.

As the stock is currently in a downward momentum, we recommend buying GE in batches, instead of buying it all at once. The first lot of about 2% of the portfolio can be bought at the current levels. We, eventually, want to increase the stake to about 5% of our portfolio. Sharp intraday dips can be used to accumulate positions on the long side in the next few days or weeks.

For ease of calculation, we shall consider the purchase price as $18. This is the second stock in our portfolio, after the purchase of AT&T a couple of days back.

Risks

GE’s turnaround will suffer if the world economy slows down. The Chinese slowdown, the middle east unrest, the Brexit issues and other geopolitical issues can put brakes on the already anemic global recovery.

Flannery has a tough job at hand. Any misstep in the execution of the turnaround plan can sink the stock further.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 9 rated postsRakesh Upadhyay is a Technical Analyst and Portfolio Consultant for The Summit Group. He has more than a decade of experience as a private trader. His philosophy is to use technical analysis for momentum trading and fundamental analysis for long-term positions. Rakesh likes to keep himself fit by lifting weights and considers himself to be a spiritual person.




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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. emceeanders

    November 15, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    What’s the profit target?

    • Rakesh Upadhyay

      November 16, 2017 at 2:49 am

      Hello emceanders,

      If CEO Flannery is able to pull off the turnaround, a move to $33 and higher is certainly possible within 2-3 years.

      With warm regards
      Rakesh Upadhyay

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Altcoins

Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC/USD Set for Another Potential Explosive Move North as Bulls Penetrate Pennant Pattern

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  • Litecoin price on Saturday is seen holding decent gains of over 3% at the time of writing, as the bulls continue their latest push north.
  • Fundamental prospects surrounding the Litecoin Foundation remain strong and supportive of the price recovery.

LTC/USD since last week has been on a decent push to the north; the price has gained well over 40% since 7th February. A breakout kicked-started the previous week after the bulls managed to escape a narrowing daily range-block. LTC/USD was contained within the tightening structure from 11th January right up to 7th February, which then saw an explosive move shortly after. In terms of the range, this was seen at a high of $35 down to a low $29.

Between 10-11th February, Litecoin managed to see its highest levels since 14th November, which demonstrated its recovery. Price action over the last few sessions has been somewhat consolidating while maintaining the new heights. As a result, LTC/USD has formed a bullish pennant structure following the long pole from 8th February gains. Given the current formation, the price does appear to be subject to further upside movements.

Adoption Progress – Litecoin

Earlier this week, Spend App announced iit would begin supporting Litecoin. The Spend App currently facilitates users to buy, sell and pay with Litecoin in more than 40 million locations, a massive step towards mainstream adoption. According to Spend’s official website, card transactions can be performed in 180 countries.

The company tweeted, “Litecoin is now available on the SpendApp. You can buy, sell and pay with Litecoin with your linked bank account. Spend LTC at 40+ million locations with the Spend Wallet by instantly converting to fiat with the Spend Visa Card!”

Pricing in Litecoin’s ‘Halving’

In August of this year, Litecoin is expected to see it’s second ‘Halving’. In a PoW, or proof of work blockchain, halving results in the miner’s reward being cut in half. Although the halving causes miners’ reward to be reduced, they tend to Bboost the price of an asset over the longer-term.

The inventor of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, introduced the halving feature to protect against inflation. Besides, he wanted to ensure that not all of the blocks were mined so soon. Similarly to bitcoin, Litecoin has a cycle of “halving”. What will happen is at predetermined blocks, Litecoin’s mining reward will reduce. It will be Litecoin’s second halving, as the first one occurred back on 25th August 2015. At the time miners rewards went down from 50 LTC to 25 LTC, this time round miners reward will be 12.5 LTC.

Technical Review – LTC/USD

LTC/USD daily chart.

As detailed earlier, LTC/USD is subject to an extended move higher should the market bulls breakout of the pennant pattern. The upper part of the structure can be seen tracking around $44.00; this must be broken down to see a more significant wave of buying pressure. Looking to the north, the next realistic target for the bulls will likely be the psychological $50.00 mark. The price has not been up at these heights since 14th November 2018.

In terms of support, it is observed at the lower acting trend line of the pennant structure, $41.50. If this fails to hold a complete reversal of the latest run of gains may be seen. LTC/USD would then likely be forced to return down to the low $30 region.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 123 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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NEO Price Analysis: NEO/USD Bulls Eyeing an Explosive Move Higher as Cryptocurrency Enters Western Markets

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  • NEO/USD bulls are penetrating overhead resistance of a triangular pattern formation.
  • NEO Global Development (NGD) has set up an office in Seattle, Washington, keen to break into the Western markets.

NEO/USD: Recent Price Behaviour

The NEO price over the past week has managed to see some upside momentum, having gained around 25% since 7th February. At the time of writing, NEO/USD is running towards another session in the green, which would make it nine in the last ten. This is the best run of gains observed since the crypto market uptrend of December 2018.

In terms of the latest push to the north, NEO/USD bounced off a critical near-term supporting ascending trend line, which makes up a triangular pattern structure. It began the formation of this back in mid-December 2018 when the bulls entered a decent path of upside. However, the bulls eventually ran out of steam and were forced to narrow and trade within the confinements of the mentioned pattern.

NEO Looking to Make Ground in Western Markets

The team at NEO is taking serious steps towards expansion into U.S. markets, following its latest announcement to open an office in Seattle. This is the site of the new NEO Global Development (NGD) office. NGD will begin immediately recruiting for the new set up, which is going to be headed up by ex-Microsoft executive John deVadoss.

NEO is hosting its 2019 DevCon in Seattle, Washington between 16th February through to 17th. There is much anticipation around the announcing and details of NEO 3.0. As it currently stands, no clear specifications about the upgrade have been disclosed. Previously, NEO co-founder Erik Zhang said:

“NEO 3.0 will be an entirely new version of the NEO platform built for large scale enterprise use cases. It will provide a higher TPS and stability, expanded APIs for smart contracts, optimised economic and pricing models, and much more. Most importantly, we will entirely redesign NEO’s core modules.”

More on DevCon: NEO Price Update: Bulls Take Control as Anticipation for DevCon Builds.

Technical Review – NEO/USD

NEO/USD daily chart.

The NEO/USD price continues to trade within the earlier described triangular structure, demonstrating signs of late for a possible breakout higher. The markets bulls have been testing the upper acting trend line of the pattern; given the recent penetration, one would suggest a subsequent breach is likely. The resistance is currently tracking at $8.60; a break and daily closure above could invite another wave of buying pressure.

Further to the north, eyes would be on a retest of the significant psychological area of $10.00. The price last peaked up at these heights on 9th January, before running into sellers and being forced back south. At the time this was the highest NEO/USD had reached since 20th November. A push above this will then call into action $13.00, where the price consolidated briefly during the heavy November selling. Lastly, a return to the pre-November fall levels near $20.00 would be the next likely target.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 123 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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XRP Price Analysis: XRP/USD Could be in Serious Trouble as Test of Major Support Back in Play

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  • Ripple’s XRP price is seen trading marginally in negative territory towards the latter part of Friday, with XRP/USD heading for a weekly closure in the red.
  • Ripple has announced a newly improved XRP Ledger 1.2.0 for improved censorship resistance.

XRP/USD: Recent Price Behaviour

Ripple’s XRP price continues to cool, running towards is a third consecutive session in the red as the bulls fail to sustain any upside. XRP/USD has dropped more than 5% over the mentioned period, with the bears set to the test the big psychological $0.3000 mark once again. The price had not traded below this area since 8th February, when it received a chunky amount of buying pressure.

Ripple Announces Newly Improved XRP Ledger 1.2.0

Ripple, the San-Francisco-based blockchain startup, released an updated version of its XRP ledger 1.2.0. The update is expected to significantly improve user experience, in addition to expanding upon the range of services within its offering.

Details provided by the Ripple team suggest that this update has seen its resistance to censorship improve. In other words, a single entity will not be able to decide success or fail. No one will have the ability to alter any transaction once added to the ledger.

Moreover, the upgrade has introduced the MultiSignReserve amendment. Ripple has further streamlined the process, reducing the number of barriers for those involved in signing the transactions. The amendment will now allow just a reverse of 5 XRP, in comparison to the prior of between 15-50 XRP.

The blockchain startup has also announced a bounty program, inviting developers to review their updates in the new version. Should any vulnerabilities or errors be detected, Ripple will reward those who communicate such to them.

Users of the ledger should update to the latest version before 27th February 2019. It is critical that users complete the upgrade, as the server will not be able to determine the authenticity of the ledger. Without the upgrade, transactions will not process and cannot be submitted.

Technical Review – XRP/USD

XRP/USD daily chart.

Last week, the XRP/USD bulls managed significant double-digit gains of around 11%, breaking out of a descending wedge pattern formation. The bearish structure had contained price action since the back-end of December 2018. It was forced to drop around 30% while moving within this wedge after such a promising initial recovery started from the middle of December.

In terms of support to the downside, eyes will be on a retest of the upper part of the wedge pattern. It can be seen tracking around the high-mid $0.28000 region. A significant buying area is also in proximity, ranging from $0.3000 to $0.2500; an area that has on several occasions proven to attract decent sized buyers. Any failure of this providing necessary comfort will expose $0.2000 as the next target.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 123 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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