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The end of the GE 'apocalypse' is here, analyst says

Key Points
  • The "end of apocalypse scenarios" are "now at hand" for General Electric, says William Blair.
  • "We increasingly believe GE's risk profile is likely to significantly improve … over the next few months," analyst Nicholas Heymann says.
  • The removal of several "uncertainties" in the next few months will provide GE some relief, Heymann adds.
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General Electric's stock is up more 17 percent to start this year and one Wall Street firm says the "end of apocalypse scenarios" are "now at hand" for GE.

"We increasingly believe GE's risk profile is likely to significantly improve … over the next few months," William Blair analyst Nicholas Heymann said in a note to investors.

GE's biggest risks include its financial leverage and struggling power and gas business, as well as ongoing Justice Department and SEC investigations into GE's accounting practices. Heymann said the removal of those "uncertainties" in the coming months will provide relief.

"We believe investors' perception of GE is likely in the near term to undergo a potentially accelerated three-part transformation" of reduced risk, lowered debt and a turnaround for the power business, Heymann said.

GE shares were down 0.2 percent in Monday trading from Friday's close of $8.94 a share. William Blair has an outperform rating on GE's stock.

The industrial conglomerate also announced Monday morning that former UBS analyst Steve Winoker is now GE's vice president of investor relations. Winoker had a buy rating on GE shares while he covered the stock, as he said in October that CEO Larry Culp is "key" to turning around GE's fortunes.