A sputtering economy, implosions at financial institutions, or just plain bad management -- on any given day, investors can name a number of reasons to sell a stock. Yet while panic is never beneficial to investors, it's good practice to play devil's advocate with investments from time to time.
In Motley Fool CAPS, more than 120,000 members have weighed in on nearly 5,400 stocks and shared bullish and bearish opinions alike.
In the case of industrial conglomerate General Electric
Financial exposure: GE's finance unit brings in a big chunk of its operating profits. With the unit reporting a 33% drop in income in its recent quarter, some investors fear that things could get worse. Some also question whether it still deserves its AAA credit rating, which it relies heavily on for low-cost funding. Costs to insure GE's debt are much more than other triple-A rated companies, such as Johnson & Johnson
Inefficient structure: GE's conglomerate structure is bringing in uneven performance across its divisions. In its most recent quarter, the energy group grew while earnings from the consumer and industrial businesses suffered declines. As everyone from Citigroup
More red flags: Companies such as Bank of America
Of course, GE has survived and thrived despite dozens of obstacles. But the question about whether the company will continue to do so is why CAPS is such a great resource.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock still looks both ways before crossing the street. He owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and ExxonMobil. The Fool's disclosure policy was on the short list as a judge for America's Got Talent but just couldn't get along with David Hasselhoff.