Investors expressed relief that GE will not have to pay more than the $ 1
"We can start to leave this episode behind," Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp told analysts about the WMC settlement.
"We're on the brink of something great," Culp said. "It's a start, but we still have much to do."
Electricity orders dropped by 19% in the fourth quarter, leading to a 25% decline in sales. The company accused "continued execution and operational problems". GE promised to improve its power discipline, project management and execution. GE Power has cut jobs and closed locks.
"The fixation of power will take time," said Culp, adding that the division will fight again in 2019 and the turnaround "in the very early innings" will take place aircraft leasing business for whopping $ 40 billion.
"We have no plans to sell the aircraft leasing unit," said Culp.
As expected, GE's bright spot was the booming aviation business, which benefited from rising engine orders. GE Aviation posted a 24% quarterly gain and an 89% order increase for its LEAP engine program.
Culp expects operating profit margins in the industry to increase in 2019. However, free cash flow is warned against headwinds. Sales and profits are expected to grow slightly this year.
Culp was more optimistic about the longer-term outlook and predicted that cash flow will "grow considerably" in 2020 and 2021.
"2019 is still very much in the works, but the company is getting stronger," Culp said.
JPMorgan Chase analyst, C. Stephen Tusa, Jr., one of Wall Street's largest GE bears, specifically asked executives whether the company would generate free cash flow in 2019 at all. Culp refused a direct answer, but promised more details shortly.
John Inch, an analyst with Gordon Haskett, found the answer alarming.
"Why would you give GE after losing the doubt of purpose so many times over so many years?" Inch told CNN Business.
GE Empire Shrinkage
GE said it sold $ 8 billion in assets in the fourth quarter, bringing sales to $ 15 billion in 2018.
Next Big Business: GE Healthcare, which manufactures MRI machines and other medical devices. Culp said GE could monetize nearly half of the profitable health care industry despite declining the timing of a transaction.
When asked if he was confident that "all skeletons were found in the closet," Culp left the door open for more bad news.
"I do not think I would ever say here on my last day We found all the skeletons," Culp said. "I do not have the tendency to take the absolute positions."