General Electric: a giant of the industry in turmoil

Photo: Sebastien Bozon Agence France-Presse
The group’s financial situation is so critical that GE has had to announce on Monday that it would divide by two its dividend.

New York — General Electric is a giant in the global industry more than a century that finds its roots with the famous inventor Thomas Edison.


The group was formed in 1892 from the merger of the Edison General Electric Company, created two years earlier, and the Thomas-Houston Electric Company. The group took advantage quickly of the patents filed by Thomas Edison and is being developed in parallel to the widespread adoption of electricity and energy in industrial societies.


It is part of the twelve companies component originally in 1896 the stock index star of Wall Street Dow Jones. GE is now the only one of the 30 values which comprise it to be a part of it since the beginning.


Among his inventions commercialized on a large scale the most famous include the electric light bulb filament, transmission, radio, refrigerator, fluorescent lamp, the silicone, the jet, the autopilot of the aircraft, the civilian nuclear reactor…


The group employed the end of 2016, about 295 000 people, but announced on Monday that it would refocus its activities around three core businesses, namely aerospace, health and energy, and yield some $ 20 billion of assets. However, it has not specified the extent of the job cuts envisaged.


It was developed in the last century in many sectors, including finance (GE Capital), the media with the radio-tv and cinema (NBC Universal). But under the leadership of Jack Welch, became p.-d. g. in 1981, he is already going to significantly reduce its portfolio of activities and to dismiss more than 100 000 people.


Jeff Immelt, who took command of the group in 2001, will continue to refocus the group on its core activities and buys in particular, in 2015 the energy hub of the French Alstom, while selling electrical appliances. But before the bad results caused by the downturn of the oil market in particular, Jeff Immelt is replaced last summer by John Flannery, who is only the 10th p.-d. g. of the group since its creation.


It engages in a new austerity plan in the face of the fall of the share of the group, which has lost 37 % of its value on Wall Street since the beginning of the year, erasing more than $ 100 billion of market capitalization which today reaches more than about $ 170 billion (that Apple runs around 900 billion).


The group’s financial situation is so critical that GE has had to announce on Monday that it would divide by two its dividend, highlighting even more the fall of the share they lost after the announcement of the restructuring plan still 19,50 US $then it was worth nearly US $58 to US at the beginning of this century.

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