General Electric Co. is one of the premier companies in the world. The diversified industrial play had a steady 20-year run in the markets prior to peeking in late 2000 after five stock splits in that timeframe. But, since its $60 peak in late 2000, the stock many considered to be the top ‘buy and hold’ stocks, was in a nasty downward trend that saw GE fall to the $20 level before a rebound.
But, in spite of some concerns regarding trying to grow this massive $357 billion behemoth, GE should still be considered a must have stock for long-term conservative portfolios. The valuation is fairly decent, albeit the PEG is somewhat high at 1.73.
The estimated five-year annual earnings growth is 10%. While it is not overly spectacular compared to some mid and smaller-cap stocks, huge companies like GE constantly face growth issues.
To grow a company with annual revenues of an estimated $163.54 billion in the FY06, GE needs to on the look out for growth opportunities whether in a new business or technology of expanding into fertile markets.
As far as global expansion for this multinational, GE is quite positive on China, but then again, who isn’t? GE reported revenues of about $5 billion in China in 2005, about 3.33% of FY05 sales.
GE chairman Jeff Immelt says he expects its sales in China to double within the next four to five years.
The company currently employs about 13,000 workers in China, a mere 4.11% of its total global work force of about 316,000.
In China, GE is looking at producing new power generation, water filtration and other products. The company’s Shanghai research center already employs 2,000 Chinese engineers.
GE’s strategy for growth in China makes sense. As the country continues to grow, it demands for industrial applications will also grow. This is where GE will come in as it is the dominant industrial company in the world. If you want a dividend paying conservative stock, think GE.