I agree, and then some. But my investment strategy tends toward the basic, the strategic. I don't much care for in-and-out trading. I tend to buy and hold.
So why should you have some GE in your portfolio?
GE now brings in 30% of its revenue from various energy businesses. Most of the headlines involve its solar, wind, and battery operations, which are finally ready to drive results. That's because renewable energy costs are coming in line with those from fossil fuels. This means people won't just be buying GE stuff to look "green," it means they'll be buying it to make green.
For those who love the old-fashioned kind of energy, GE makes oil and gas drilling equipment, it makes portable power systems driving that gear, and it offers both natural gas and nuclear power equipment, the latter through a joint venture with Hitachi. Given the fact that Japan's new government looks set to reverse course on nuclear power, this is also bullish for GE.
Beyond energy, GE Healthcare is finally ready to make a contribution to profit. That sweet, sweet stimulus cash promised in the 2009 Recovery Act is now flowing, many of GE's many rivals in the space -- like Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX) -- are having trouble, and it's going to be gaining share because it comes at the business from the area of client hardware, expensive medical devices like scanners. Once the stimulus cash runs out, in fiscal 2015, the government starts penalizing institutions that haven't bought automation -- there is more growth to come here.
GE Capital is also going to be a good business to be in. As the Great Recession recedes into the past, conventional lending is becoming an ever-better business. It's not about going to the casino with the customer's money; it's about lending money for more than you paid for it. No problem there.
So there is every reason to see GE exceeding expectations in 2013. The company is managed very conservatively, maintaining high levels of cash and grabbing lots of cheap debt. Any increase in the top line is going to be matched by acceleration on the bottom line. And growth is going to happen in 2013, with an acceleration in the current 60 cents/share dividend likely. GE is going to become what it was before Immelt took control of it 11-and-a-half years ago, a stock you can stick in your portfolio and ignore, knowing it will make good.
Many, many politically minded investors have been angry at GE throughout Immelt's time in charge, and their bearishness is going to keep the stock rising as well. So if you own GE, leave it alone. And if you're a conservative investor, this is a stock you can hold and keep quiet about.