GE management explained, "This strategic move expands GE Commercial Finance's global reach in project financing, particularly in the energy, transportation, and infrastructure sectors" -- and particularly in Europe.
Glance at GE's press releases from just the past month or two, and you'll see what this large but growing company has been up to lately: acquisitions, new products, new big contracts, awards, increased sales, and so on. It's also adjusting to its new CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, in the wake of legendary Jack Welch's retirement.
Does all this activity mean that the company is a good buy right now? Perhaps. It's certainly a better buy now than it was two years ago, when its share price was about twice today's price. Still, it's important to remember how huge the firm is, and that it can be difficult for huge firms to be nimble or grow quickly. Here are a few more numbers, courtesy of SmartMoney.com. Draw your own conclusions:
Current 5-Yr Low 5-Yr High Industry Trailing P/E 18.70 19.10 49.60 26.20 Price/Sales 2.23 1.77 4.73 1.33 Price/Cash Flow 13.40 12.80 30.20 12.40 Price/Book 4.82 4.55 12.32 3.12 Return on Equity 25.80% 23.80% 25.80% 13.10% Return on Assets 2.80% 2.60% 2.90% 2.50% Debt/Total Capital 80.00% 80.00% 80.00% 70.00%