What happened 

Shares of General Electric (NYSE:GE) climbed 5.6% on Friday, following positive analyst commentary. 

So what 

Barclays analyst Julian Mitchell reiterated his "overweight" rating on GE's stock and increased his share price forecast from $9 to $11. His new price target represents potential gains for shareholders of roughly 19%, based on the stock's closing price of $9.25 on Friday.

A person is pointing to a digital chart that rises, then falls, then rises again.

Analysts at Barclays see GE's cash flow rebounding sharply in the coming years. Image source: Getty Images.

Mitchell is more optimistic about GE's future earnings and cash flow production following the industrial conglomerate's third-quarter report and subsequent comments from its management team. He believes GE's free cash flow will grow to $6 billion in 2022, up from $2.6 billion over the past year. 

Now what 

GE is attempting to strengthen its balance sheet via asset sales and debt reduction. It's also jettisoning business with poor growth prospects, such as coal power generation, as it shifts its focus toward more promising endeavors like wind turbines and other renewable energy projects. Combined with ongoing cost cuts, these initiatives should help improve GE's long-term cash flow production. 

CEO H. Lawrence Culp Jr. is trying to position GE on solid footing after its past struggles placed it in a precarious financial position. He appears to have found some believers in his recovery strategy, in Mitchell and the investors who bid GE's share price up today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.