Investors desperately want 2023 to go better than 2022 did, and after an initial day of poor performance on Tuesday, it appears that Wall Street might finally cooperate on Wednesday. Stock futures contracts on major indexes were up as much as two-thirds of a percent in early morning trading, reflecting the ongoing tug-of-war between optimism and fear.

One stock that's apt to scare a bunch of shareholders Wednesday morning is General Electric (GE 4.71%). The conglomerate's share price is going to be a lot lower than it was a day ago, but investors aren't going to suffer immediate losses as a result. Instead, the new price for GE reflects a major corporate move that will give investors separate exposure to a part of its business that until today was integrated under the conglomerate's massive corporate umbrella.

Welcome, GE Healthcare

Stock in General Electric traded at around $67 per share on Wednesday morning. That was down from the nearly $85 per share closing price on Tuesday afternoon, as the new value recognizes the fact that a piece of the company will become available to investors as a separately traded stock.

GE announced Wednesday morning that the spinoff of its GE HealthCare unit is now complete. The new company will start trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol GEHC, while the remaining parts of General Electric will still be available on the New York Stock Exchange under the GE ticker symbol.

Under the terms of the spinoff, existing GE shareholders received one share of the new GE HealthCare's stock for every three shares of General Electric stock they owned. General Electric held on to just under 20% of GE HealthCare's stock as well, ensuring continuing exposure to the healthcare business even for those who invest solely in General Electric shares going forward.

Because of the structure of the spinoff, the new shares won't create a taxable event for shareholders. Instead, the cost basis for tax purposes will get divided between the new GE HealthCare shares and the continuing General Electric stock.

A long time coming -- and more to follow

General Electric has been talking about its plans to separate out the healthcare business from the rest of the conglomerate for more than a year now, and investors hope that the spinoff will achieve its intended purpose. By focusing on precision care, GE HealthCare should be better able to manage its business operations, pursuing its own strategic acquisitions and managing its own financial condition in a manner appropriate for the industry. Meanwhile, shareholders have hoped that GE HealthCare would trade at a premium valuation, offsetting what many have seen as a discount for being locked within a larger conglomerate structure.

However, General Electric doesn't see itself as being done yet. The initial plan included not only breaking off the healthcare business, but also separating the remaining company into two pieces. GE Aerospace will include the company's extensive aviation holdings, while GE Vernova intends to pursue sustainable development through carbon-free energy generation through General Electric's power and renewables businesses.

Investors will have to be patient, though. General Electric doesn't anticipate completing its separation into three separate parts until early 2024, as the companies still have to work through dividing assets and liabilities in a manner that will keep investors in all three entities satisfied.

Don't panic!

It's always a little scary to see the share price of a stock you own drop suddenly. Today, though, General Electric shareholders will get new GE HealthCare shares, and they're hoping to get good performance from both companies throughout 2023 and beyond.