General Electric plunged the other week on damaging allegations.
You may remember Harry Markopolos claimed the company was hiding its financial problems and would need to significantly raise insurance reserves. “My team has spent the past 7 months analyzing GE’s accounting and we believe the $38 Billion in fraud we’ve come across is merely the tip of the iceberg,” Markopolos said, as quoted by CNBC.
He went as far as calling General Electric a “bigger fraud than Enron, capping it off with allegations this could all plunge GE into bankruptcy.
However, it appears Wall Street didn’t take those claims too seriously.
The allegations of fraud at General Electric are “at best disingenuous”, and, “at worst highly inaccurate,” according to Nick Heymann with the William Blair financial services firm, as quoted by CNBC. “You got the stock on sale yesterday for absolutely no basis.”
Even Deutsche Bank just noted, “We find ourselves in the unenviable position of having to defend the reserve adequacy of a business about whose future claim projections we have very deep concerns,” they said, as quoted by Barron’s. “However, the logic put forth in this presentation appears largely poorly reasoned, in many places mismatching accounting treatments, making comparisons based on data sets too small from which to draw conclusions and rendering conclusions with no factual basis.”
While Deutsche Bank does note that GE’s long-term care insurance is a troubled businesses, that shouldn’t come as a shock to investors.
Plus, the Markopolos report “fails to make a compelling argument.”
Analysts at Wolfe Research also weighed in, noting, “We are comfortable that GE’s LTC insurance reserves are well grounded and certainly not fraudulent.” At the moment, the firm has a buy rating on the stock with a price target of $14 a share.
Since the allegations, GE has rallied from a low of $7.75 to $8.78.
In our opinion, GE could refill its bearish gap at $10.75, as the allegations fall to the wayside.