|4. General Electric deflates|
Data:FactSet; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
General Electric would love to have a share price down 35% from its highs. The stock closed Friday at just $8.02 per share, which is down 75% from the July high of $33, down 80% from the pre-crisis high of $42, and down 85% from the all-time high of $60, set in August 2000. And those numbers if anything understate the degree to which GE has been diminished since its heyday.
No one's shedding any tears for speculators like Nelson Peltz, who has lost some $700 million on his GE bet. But GE bondholders are a different matter. GE has a total debt of $115 billion, including $100 billion of long-term bonds. That's more than its market capitalization.
To see just how bad things are looking for GE, consider its perpetual preferred securities. If GE doesn't buy back that paper at par in January 2021, it's going to have to pay a punitive 333 basis points over Libor in interest. And it's looking very much as though GE won't have the wherewithal to buy back the stock.
The bottom line: GE Capital needs at least $20 billion in new funds, and perhaps significantly more, according to a research note put out by Goldman Sachs this week. Goldman also raised questions about GE's insurance and power operations.
Why it matters: GE is far from insolvent, but it's definitely in trouble. If its $100 billion of debt got downgraded to junk status, the effect on the credit markets could be seismic.
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