What happened

Shares of industrials giant General Electric (GE 2.06%) are hopping in afternoon trading Wednesday, up 7.5% as of 1:10 p.m. EDT as GE CEO Larry Culp expounds on the company's plans at a Morgan Stanley investor event currently in progress.

So what

What's driving GE shares higher? TheFly.com is giving minute-by-minute updates on the CEO's comments. Among the encouraging news:

  • GE's recent second quarter -- the results from which were not great -- is likely to have been the "toughest period" GE will experience this year.
  • GE burned through $3 billion in negative free cash flow in the first half of this year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. However, this year's second half should show improvement, with cash flow (if not free cash flow) at least turning positive. (Cash flow alone was negative $1.4 billion in the first half, with the remainder of the cash burn accounted for by capital investments.)
  • And GE expects to have momentum on its side as it emerges from 2020 into 2021.
Stock up arrow rising over 2020

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

In short, this industrial bellwether seems to be promising a brighter future after it emerges from the shadow of COVID-19. At a price less than 16 times earnings, paying a modest 0.6% dividend yield, and with the prospect of self-sustaining free cash flow on the horizon, investors today appear willing to take the CEO at his word, and give GE stock another spin.