In January, General Electric (NYSE:GE) insiders, including CEO Jeff Immelt, scooped up $1.36 million in GE shares on the open market, showing a vote of confidence in the company's future. This week, Immelt decided to back up the truck once more.
The company confirmed that Immelt is investing his entire 2013 bonus in shares of GE. The purchase of 104,900 shares at roughly $25 per share amounts to $2.6 million, bringing his year-to-date total to 144,900 shares worth roughly $3.6 million. That's no small sum.
All told, the purchase increases Immelt's overall ownership to 1.97 million GE shares worth about $50 million at today's price.
It appears that Immelt not only finds shares attractive after the stock's year-to-date dip of 8%, but he's dead set on having some skin in the game while running the industrial giant. A GE source informed The Motley Fool that Immelt's upcoming annual letter to shareholders, which has yet to be published, states: "I am investing right alongside of you. I have invested my entire bonus in GE stock. Like the rest of our leaders, I believe in GE."
Immelt's purchase follows shortly after the disclosure last month of Warren Buffett's GE position through Berkshire Hathaway, which amounted to 10.6 million shares worth nearly $300 million.
GE, despite lackluster revenue growth in recent years, appears cheap relative to its peers. The industrial conglomerate trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.1 based on trailing earnings, compared to 20 for the industry.
The discount is partially due to the percent of earnings generated by non-core industrial businesses at GE. Notably, GE Capital contributed 34% of year-end earnings in 2013.
Right now, GE is chiseling away at GE Capital. The company's ability to effectively "right-size" that division will be critical to its future success.
Immelt has spent 32 years of his career at GE. His father worked in GE's aircraft engines division for 38 years. It's clear he's invested in this company in more ways than one. Still, it's nice to see a chief executive put his money where his mouth is during a crucial transitional period for the company.