Star analyst is getting pushback from clients on his negative GE takes, but he doesn't care

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The logo of General Electric is pictured at the company’s site of its energy branch in Belfort, France, February 5, 2019.

Vincent Kessler | Reuters

J.P. Morgan analyst Stephen Tusa is sticking to his guns when it comes to General Electric, despite getting “questions and pushback” from his skepticism of GE’s announcement at the Paris Air Show last week.

Tusa said Monday most of his peers deemed the aviation conference to be a win for GE. The company’s aviation unit booked a record number of orders, with GE Aviation CEO David Joyce telling CNBC it brought in a “conservative” $35 billion in new business. The unit is considered the company’s crown jewel, largely because it is a profitable standout in comparison to the other struggling businesses in the GE conglomerate.

“While maybe not made clear enough through the smoke screen of the big order headlines and data points gleaned over 3 days,” Tusa said the overall picture for GE “was on net more negative than even we were thinking when it comes to the Aviation debate.”

The most bearish analyst on GE, Tusa gained a following for his early warnings that the company’s stock was worth much less than others believed. His $5 price target is the lowest on Wall Street, predicting the stock will be more than cut in half from its current price.

“There is ample evidence to support a stand alone fair value for GE Aviation that is below even what we had been thinking before,” Tusa said.

While Tusa cited his peers valuing GE Aviation at as much as $100 billion, he believes the unit is worth much less – $30 billion to $40 billion.

J.P. Morgan has an underweight rating on GE’s stock. The company’s shares were up fractionally on Monday and more than 44% this year.

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