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GE shares dive after ‘deeply disappointing’ $6.2 billion insurance portfolio charge

Tae Kim

The bad news keeps piling up for General Electric

(NYSE: GE)

shareholders as the company announced worse-than-expected insurance portfolio results.

GE

said

Tuesday after a review of its GE Capital insurance portfolio that it will take a $6.2 billion after-tax charge for the fourth quarter of 2017 and expects to contribute $15 billion over the next seven years to shore up the portfolio's reserves.

General Electric also said on a call with investors that it will report 2017 earnings per share, ex-insurance charges, at the low end of its $1.05 to $1.10 guidance range versus the Wall Street consensus of $1.07.Its shares dropped 3.8 percent Tuesday.

"At a time when we are moving forward as a company, a charge of this magnitude from a legacy insurance portfolio in run-off for more than a decade is deeply disappointing," CEO

John Flannery

said in the release Tuesday.

One Wall Street analyst is surprised at the size of the charge and reserve numbers."After an analysis of the GE long term care exposure, we had thought an outsized charge was likely, but have to admit the $15B of additional capital ultimately being required was far in excess of our adverse case expectations, and is a negative read across for other insurers with sizeable long term care blocks in our view," Evercore ISI analyst Thomas Gallagher wrote Tuesday.General Electric shares significantly underperformed the market in the past year. The stock has declined 40 percent through Friday in the past 12 months versus the S&P 500's 22.5 percent return.

The company

reduced

its dividend and unveiled a restructuring plan during its November investor day. It was the company's first investor day under Flannery, who succeeded Jeff Immelt in August.

The bad news keeps piling up for General Electric

(NYSE: GE)

shareholders as the company announced worse-than-expected insurance portfolio results.

GE

said

Tuesday after a review of its GE Capital insurance portfolio that it will take a $6.2 billion after-tax charge for the fourth quarter of 2017 and expects to contribute $15 billion over the next seven years to shore up the portfolio's reserves.

General Electric also said on a call with investors that it will report 2017 earnings per share, ex-insurance charges, at the low end of its $1.05 to $1.10 guidance range versus the Wall Street consensus of $1.07.

Its shares dropped 3.8 percent Tuesday.

"At a time when we are moving forward as a company, a charge of this magnitude from a legacy insurance portfolio in run-off for more than a decade is deeply disappointing," CEO

John Flannery

said in the release Tuesday.

One Wall Street analyst is surprised at the size of the charge and reserve numbers.

"After an analysis of the GE long term care exposure, we had thought an outsized charge was likely, but have to admit the $15B of additional capital ultimately being required was far in excess of our adverse case expectations, and is a negative read across for other insurers with sizeable long term care blocks in our view," Evercore ISI analyst Thomas Gallagher wrote Tuesday.

General Electric shares significantly underperformed the market in the past year. The stock has declined 40 percent through Friday in the past 12 months versus the S&P 500's 22.5 percent return.

The company

reduced

its dividend and unveiled a restructuring plan during its November investor day. It was the company's first investor day under Flannery, who succeeded Jeff Immelt in August.



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