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GE warns coronavirus outbreak would depress 1Q cash flow by up to $500M

The US industrial conglomerate also expects a hit of $200 million to $300 million to its 1Q operating profit

General Electric  - General Electric Company warns the deadly coronavirus outbreak will depress first-quarter cash flow between $300 million to $500 million
GE employs thousands of workers in China and had been seen as heavily exposed to the economic weakness caused by the virus

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is warning that the deadly coronavirus outbreak would depress its first-quarter cash flow between $300 million to $500 million. 

The US industrial conglomerate also on Wednesday said it expects a hit of $200 million to $300 million to its 1Q operating profit from the virus, which has crushed economic activity in China and disrupted global supply chains. 

However, GE, which employs thousands of workers in China and had been seen as heavily exposed to the economic weakness caused by the outbreak, reiterated its 2020 cash and profit targets.

Hit by grounding of Boeing's 737 Max

CEO Larry Culp, who is restructuring GE after a series of failures, in January forecast its 1Q free cash flow at a negative $2 billion, largely due to the grounding of The Boeing Company’s (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX for which it makes engines.

At that point, the Boston-based company said it would recover to generate between $2 billion to $4 billion in positive cashflow this year, and an adjusted profit of 50 cents to 60 cents per share. Analysts have estimated this year’s cashflow at a positive $2.77 billion.

GE’s stock fell slightly in morning trading to $10.86 a share in New York. 

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