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GE Appliance: A Preferred Brand for Most US Homebuilders

With the gradual revival of the U.S. homebuilding industry, GE Appliance, an operating unit of General Electric Company GE, has emerged as the preferred brand among the majority of the homebuilders. About 10 of the leading 15 U.S. homebuilders have reportedly chosen GE Appliance for their existing and upcoming projects, making it an undisputed leader in the country’s kitchen appliance market.
The GE Appliance business sells and services major home appliances including refrigerators, freezers, electric and gas ranges, cook tops, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, microwave ovens, room air conditioners, and residential water systems under the GE Monogram, GE Cafe and Hotpoint brands.

To further strengthen its market presence, GE Appliance intends to invest $2 billion to expand its product portfolio and about 20 new products are slated for launch in 2016 itself.

However, GE Appliance is exclusively focused on the U.S. markets, thereby lacking the global scale to compete with other leading electronics manufacturers like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. SSNLF and LG Electronics Inc. This leads to flatter revenues and contracted margins. Consequently, General Electric decided to divest the business in early 2016 to the Chinese multinational consumer electronics manufacturer, Haier Group. The transaction is expected to be complete in the near future and GE Appliance, along with Haier, is expected to continue its legacy of delivering optimal products for customers.

In addition to unlocking incremental value by allocating more resources to high-growth businesses, the divesture was in tune with General Electric’s corporate strategy to focus on the core industrial businesses.

General Electric is currently engaged in massive restructuring initiatives to create a simpler and nimbler firm. From a classic conglomerate with diversified business interests in financial services, media, industrial and technology-based operations, the company is pruning its operating portfolio to concentrate on core manufacturing businesses with a digital edge.

Since Apr 2015, GE Capital has inked sale agreements worth approximately $161 billion, of which it has completed deals worth $138 billion. The company intends to sell approximately $200 billion of GE Capital assets globally by the end of 2016. The transactions are in conformity with the corporate strategy of building a manufacturing-based entity with emphasis on big-ticket items such as aviation engines, drilling machines, generators, medical equipment and scanners. With these restructuring initiatives, General Electric expects operating earnings from the industrial business to comprise over 90% of its total operating earnings by 2018, up from 58% in 2014.

The corporate restructuring activities have positioned General Electric to probably become the first company to drop its too-big-to-fail label. We remain impressed with the continued efforts of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock to sustain its growth momentum. A couple of better-ranked stocks in the industry include Carlisle Companies Incorporated CSL and Honeywell International Inc. HON, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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HONEYWELL INTL (HON): Free Stock Analysis Report
GENL ELECTRIC (GE): Free Stock Analysis Report
CARLISLE COS IN (CSL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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