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Hit with $6.2 billion charge, GE considering major shake-ups

by Thomas Dworetzky, Contributing Reporter | January 17, 2018
Business Affairs

“The good news is that Flannery seems to have cleared the deck,” Scott Davis, an analyst at Melius Research, an independent financial analysis firm, told the Times. “The bad news is how do you trust anything now?”

Investors and analysts had expected a major hit, but the news was “far in excess” of what was expected, Tom Gallagher, an analyst at Evercore, said in a client note, according to Bloomberg.

“The problem that these insurers face is very real,” Peter Goldstein, CEO of LTCG, a firm that manages long-term care policies for insurers. “People are working hard to figure out what to do here.”

The bad financial news comes on the heels of the November investor meeting at which Flannery announced that its dividend would be cut in half – a 12 cent quarterly dividend, down from 24 cents, according to Reuters.

"We understand the importance of this decision to our shareowners and we have not made it lightly,” he said. “We are focused on driving total shareholder return and believe this is the right decision to align our dividend payout to cash flow generation."

Part of the shift includes staff cuts, he said in November. Roughly a quarter of corporate employees, about 1,500 jobs, will be eliminated, according to Forbes.

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