General Electric (GE -2.56%) investors are not having a great year.
"Thanks" to the arrival of COVID-19, and the damage it's done to global business in general and to demand for airplanes (and airplane engines) in particular, GE stock is down more than 20% over the past 52 weeks, versus an S&P 500 that is up more than 20%.
And today, GE is getting another shellacking, down 5% in 2:20 p.m. EDT trading.
You can almost certainly blame JPMorgan for that.
The investment banker announced this morning that it is becoming "more negative" on GE shares and that it is withdrawing its price target on the stock, reports TheFly.com. That sounds bad, but it gets worse. Although JP now has no official price target on GE stock, it says that, in its opinion, GE shares are probably worth less than $5.
GE stock currently costs $6 and change now, by the way. So in essence, while JP technically has a "neutral" rating on the stock, in actual fact the analyst appears to see more than 20% downside.
Why is JPMorgan so suddenly negative on General Electric stock? For one thing, JP points out that management has refused to promise that it will be cash-flow positive in the second half of this year, despite many analysts forecasting that cash flow will be "solidly positive."
In JPMorgan's opinion, this probably means there has been "no reset" in the business, that "the standing consensus V-shape" recovery for GE's business is almost certainly wrong, and that the company will be lucky to just break even in the second half.
All of this gives investors a lot of reasons to sell GE stock today -- and very few reasons to buy.