Skip to content
Subscriber Only

GE’s Improving Cash Outlook Signals New Traction for Turnaround

  • Culp touts ‘strong and improving orders’ in power, renewables
  • Company resumes guidance as pandemic clouds start to clear
GE was able offset the weakness in aviation with strength in energy.

GE was able offset the weakness in aviation with strength in energy.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Updated on

General Electric Co. signaled renewed progress for Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp’s turnaround effort with a cash-flow outlook that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations.

Industrial free cash flow will be $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion this year, GE said in an earnings statement Tuesday. The midpoint of the range handily exceeded the $2.57 billion average of analyst estimates for the closely watched metric. GE also resumed providing an earnings forecast -- a sign that the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to abate.

The outlook provides a new boost for Culp’s drive to rescue the maker of aircraft engines, power turbines and medical scanners from an epic corporate collapse. While the pandemic upended that effort early last year, GE came roaring back in the fourth quarter to generate $4.4 billion in industrial free cash flow, smashing analyst estimates and more than offsetting the cash burned during the first nine months of the year.