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Buffett rumor can't save GE from being the worst Dow performer in the first quarter

  • GE ended the first quarter as the worst performer on the Dow Jones industrial average.
  • Shares of the industrial conglomerate dropped nearly twice as much as Procter & Gamble, the next worst Dow stock.
  • Boeing, Intel and Cisco led the Dow, each stock rising more than 10 percent.
Warren Buffett
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Warren Buffett

Despite General Electric shares rising the most in a single day in nearly three years Tuesday, the embattled industrial conglomerate ended the first quarter as the worst performer on the Dow Jones industrial average.

GE stock dropped more than 25 percent in the first quarter, dropping nearly twice as much as Procter & Gamble, the next worst Dow stock.

A day after shares dropped to the lowest level since July 2009, speculation among traders Tuesday sparked a surge higher. Reports said some big investors may be starting to nibble at the downtrodden conglomerate but a company spokesperson told CNBC that GE did not "have a comment on the stock price."

Unsubstantiated speculation that Warren Buffett was looking to invest in GE was analyzed by RBC Capital Markets, which theorized that GE's downtrodden state makes it ripe for the oracle of Omaha to invest.

"In many ways, GE's current situation fits the profile of an ideal Warren Buffett investment," RBC analyst Deane Dray wrote in a note.

While GE is in the midst of a restructuring effort, recently nominating three new directors, this year has seen little to boost shareholders' hopes. GE revealed two ongoing federal investigations in the first two months of 2018: the SEC investigation into GE's accounting practices and the U.S. Justice Department investigation in connection with subprime mortgages. Poor earnings performance has heaped on further reminders of the challenges GE faces, with the most recent report again falling short of expectations.

Boeing, Intel and Cisco led the Dow, each stock rising more than 10 percent.

– CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.