GE opens its kimono and gets kicked where the sun don't shine

Peter Cohan

General Electric Company (GE) took a calculated risk Thursday when it invested six hours in discussing the performance and prospects of its finance unit, GE Capital. As I posted, the move was risky and with its stock down 1.8 percent Thursday and seven percent more today, it's not obvious that the move generated a short-term payoff for GE shareholders.

I would give GE a B for at least trying to be more open about GE Capital. GE management must have concluded that its stock had no chance of rising as long as investors viewed its finance unit as a black box full of toxic waste. GE did a good job of providing details about what was on GE Capital's books. But analysts concluded that its economic assumptions -- and therefore its earnings forecast -- were overly rosy.

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