General Electric (GE -0.6%) CEO Larry Culp says he expects asset sales to bring in ~$38B in cash to help the company trim its large debt load, but warns falling interest rates would boost its pension benefits obligation by $7B net of investment returns.
Culp also told a Morgan Stanley investor conference today that 2019 is progressing as planned, and GE's power division is seeing some signs of stronger than expected demand this year that may continue into early 2020, although the company would not run the business with that assumption in mind.
"We want to be optimistic, we want to be positive, but we want to be grounded," Culp said, adding there is "plenty of wood to chop" in power, renewable energy and in the corporate organization.
GE earlier today disclosed it would pay down as much as $5B in debt through a tender offer and that it also is looking at other actions such as pension funding and paying down loans from GE to its GE Capital financial services unit.
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