GE risk profile to 'significantly improve' with asset sales, says William Blair
William Blair analyst Nicholas Heymann senses that the prospects are rising for a "possible material expansion" of the sale of non-core General Electric businesses versus the company's original earlier plans last updated in June 2018. GE's risk profile is likely to "significantly improve" as uncertainties regarding its financial leverage, litigation and government investigations, unfunded liabilities, and operational turnaround plans for Power are likely to emerge over the next few months, Heymann tells investors in a research note partially titled "End of Apocalypse Scenarios Now at Hand." Specifically, the analyst sees a rising likelihood that GE may accelerate the timing and size of its original plans for the initial public offering of GE Healthcare. Further, the prospects for GE Commercial Aviation Service to be sold at or above book value are also rising while the non-core 20% of GE Digital recently recast into a separate business could lead to it being monetized, says the analyst. Collectively, Heymann estimate the potential monetization of these two new asset sales, along with a larger Healthcare IPO sooner than originally envisioned, could enhance GE's liquidity by as much as about $50B-$55B, beyond the company's previously disclosed June 2018 corporate transformation plan. The analyst, however, believes GE's free cash flow will remain "significantly challenged" throughout 2019 while it works to resurrect Power's profitability by right-sizing its global fossil turbine production capacity. He maintains an Outperform rating on General Electric.