Bearish Analyst Changes Tune on GE

An analyst from J.P. Morgan, known for his bearish tendencies, upgraded shares of General Electric (NYSE: GE) to neutral from underweight on Thursday and removed the stock from the firm’s short idea list, saying the embattled industrial giant now has a more "balanced risk reward at current levels."

"Key to the story, in our view, is the outcome of 'known unknowns' in near term, which are better understood and around which debate is more balanced, as opposed to being overlooked by most bulls in the past," Stephen Tusa wrote in a note Thursday.

Tusa put out a bearish note on GE in May 2016 when the stock was above $30 that questioned the conglomerate’s earnings and cash flow outlook. As the shares plummeted, Tusa gained a following on Wall Street with his later calls that the dividend would have to be cut coming true. His notes on the company will often move the stock on the days they come out.

Meanwhile, word came down this week that its Board of Directors elected Paula Rosput Reynolds to the GE Board. Reynolds replaces John J. Brennan, who is retiring from the Board after six years of service, as of the same date. Brennan previously announced his intention to retire from the board in March of this year.

GE shares jumped 65 cents, or 9.8%, in early Thursday trading to $7.36 from Wednesday’s close of $6.71 a share.