General Electric Co pulled its full-year forecast on Thursday due to the uncertainties created by the coronavirus outbreak, but backed its first-quarter industrial free cash flow expectation of near negative $2 billion.
Shares of the company, which reaffirmed its annual forecast just little over a month ago, rose as much as 3.2 per cent to $7.54 in morning trading.
“With net proceeds of about $20 billion from the BioPharma transaction now in hand, we have more flexibility to de-risk and further strengthen our balance sheet,” Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp said in a statement.
GE last month sold its biopharma business to Danaher Corp to focus on its core aviation and power businesses.
The announcement comes days after customers Boeing Co and Airbus SE halt or lower production of jets as airlines cancel flights and layoff staff amid a virtual halt in travel caused by the pandemic.
The Boston-based maker of jet engines, power plants and other industrial equipment said its first-quarter adjusted earnings will now be “materially below” its prior expectations of about 10 cents per share.
GE’s healthcare unit is working with Ford Motor Co to produce 50,000 ventilators needed to treat severely sick coronavirus patients.
The company said it would share more details during its first-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, April 29.
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