GE Chief’s Bold Moves Are Finally Winning Wall Street Approval

Larry Culp is finally having a good year.

General Electric Co. had been in nearly constant turmoil since Culp took over as chief executive officer with a turnaround mandate in 2018.

He had set in motion a three-way split of the now-131-year-old company, ending the one-time titan’s conglomerate structure, something his predecessors had tried and failed to do, and something that GE’s industrial peers had mostly already done.

Last March, the company slashed his pay by almost $10 million after a rebuke by shareholders. Despite bold moves and selloffs, shares throughout most of his tenure had failed to show lasting gains.

Wall Street is now listening.

On Thursday, company leaders laid out the next phase of Culp’s turnaround plan, sending shares to a five-year high and cementing the CEO’s vision of how a slimmed-down maker of jet engines, wind turbines and power equipment could expect to boost profits through the mid-decade and beyond.

The gains extended a steep run-up in GE’s stock this year to 40%, a surge that began to take hold after the spinoff of GE’s health-care division in early January.

Stronger sales and profits at GE Aerospace, improvements at GE’s energy-related units and a more nimble balance sheet “should be enough to enable the stock to outperform over the balance of 2023,” Barclays analyst Julian Mitchell said in a client note.