JPMorgan Predicts 50% Sell-Off in General Electric Stock

Options traders have been betting on a fall below $10 for GE stock

Apr 8, 2019 at 9:46 AM
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The shares of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) had been hovering just above the $10 mark for almost a month, hinting at a potential layer of round-number support. However, a bearish brokerage note came out this morning and now has GE stock down 5.3% at $9.48, which would have it closing below the 50-day moving average for the first time since early January.

Diving into the details, J.P. Morgan Securities lowered its rating on the security to "underweight" from "neutral" and dropped its price target to $5 from $6, saying that Wall Street is underestimating the challenges that remain ahead for the company. The analyst note specifically mentioned GE's power and renewables business, along with the capital services unit. Adding to the downbeat news, European Union regulators just issued a $58 million fine on the company, saying it misled the European Commission when it took over LM Wind two years ago.

Taking a broader view of analyst sentiment on General Electric, 10 brokerages recommend buying the stock, and 10 others have "hold" or worse opinions. Moreover, the average 12-month price target comes in at $12.17.

Options data shows a preference for put options among near-term speculators. This is according to the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 1.64, which ranks in the 93rd annual percentile. As for specific contracts, there's notable open interest at the front-month April 10 put, and data from the major exchanges confirms mostly buy-to-open activity here. This means traders have been betting on GE stock moving below $10 by April options expiration on Thursday, April 18.

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