GE Drops as Immelt Sees Challenges to Achieving 2018 Targets

(Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co.’s shares fell after Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said the company will have to stretch to meet a goal of earning $2 a share next year.

That target, first stated two years ago, is at the high end of expectations, the company said in a presentation Wednesday as Immelt addressed the Electrical Products Group conference.

“Nobody likes how the stock’s traded this year, but it’s up to us to execute,” Immelt said at the closely watched analyst meeting in Longboat Key, Florida.

The shares turned negative as Immelt spoke, dealing a blow to his efforts to reverse the stock’s 11 percent decline this year through Tuesday. His address closed the conference and came amid a drumbeat from activist investor Trian Fund Management for GE to improve earnings.

GE fell 1.5 percent to $27.85 at 12:10 p.m. in New York after erasing gains in earlier trading.