Why General Electric is the only earnings report that matters right now

General Electric's earnings report are due out Friday morning, and as far as I'm concerned, it's the only thing of interest on the earnings calendar.

GE is an interesting story, depending on how you look at it. The stock may be a fallen angel — with the potential to see a bit of relief — or the mangiest dog of the Dow, as I've called it before.

GE's multiple

Consider its valuation: GE's current cash flow projections, a massive debt load of $90 billion-plus and a now-lower dividend put fair valuation on the stock closer to $10 per share, versus its current price of around $13.69.

Still, most of the bad news has been squeezed out of the stock, as the company basically divested itself of almost all of it GE Capital assets, and is now firmly focused on the industrial business.

Where we go from here

Traders will look to whether the company will cut guidance. This is something it has denied will come, but investors with a long-term outlook may want to focus on the prospects for a rebound and a presence abroad. For example, GE may find a boon in infrastructure projects in emerging African countries.

A long-term bet on GE is, in a way, a bet on emerging market growth. The rate in emerging markets could far outpace the developed world, so investors who are willing to sit through short-term pain could see the stock double in the next decade if Africa becomes the next place to industrialize.

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Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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