GE CEO John Flannery says current cash flow is ‘horrible’


General Electric CEO John Flannery told CNBC on Friday that everything in the company is up for review and its current cash flow is “horrible.”

“I’ve spent really 90 days [in] an exhaustive review of the company,” Flannery said after the company posted earnings that fell far short of Wall Street’s expectations.

“The businesses, our culture, corporate spending. Everything in the company has been up for examination. Every stone turned. No sacred cows,” Flannery added in an interview on “Squawk on the Street.”

GE shares sank on Friday after the company reported the earnings miss and cut its forecast for the year. Profits were weighted down by restructuring costs and weak performance at its power and oil and gas businesses.

In the CNBC interview, the GE chief said cash flow for 2017 is “horrible,” but investors shouldn’t expect that to be “the new normal.”

“It’s a $7 billion number. It’s way off our expectations. Anyone’s expectations,” Flannery told CNBC. “That’s not the new normal. Seven billion is not the new normal. There are a number of steps we are going to take significantly in 2018.”

Flannery is under pressure to reduce GE’s dividend. Its dividend yield is now 4.19 percent, its highest in 30 years not including the financial crisis.

Flannery said the company is expected to have a call on its dividend on Nov. 13.

Earlier this month, a JPMorgan analysts said they saw “a dividend cut or ‘adjustment’ as it is likely termed, as increasingly likely.”

It was the first earnings report under Flannery, who replaced Jeff Immelt in August as CEO and became chairman this month. Flannery, who previously was president and CEO of GE Healthcare, said Friday that many view him as an “outsider,” but he insisted he is able to come in “with a fresh set of eyes and make changes.”

Flannery said he sees himself as the “insider’s outsider.”

“I think my track record shows that,” he said. “I’ve executed in a wide range of environments.”

—CNBC’s Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.

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