General Electric (NYSE:GE) has redeemed itself in the eyes of shareholders. Coming back from the 2008 financial meltdown the stock has climbed nicely and so has the dividend. You cannot help but notice all the positive feel good stories about why its a good idea to go long and stay long. Buy and hold heaven here we come.
Near its 52 week highs the dividend yield is 3.19%. The S&P 500 clocks in at 2.5%. Pretty good you’re thinking. Buying stocks at 52 weeks highs is tricky business, Sir.
Here are a few tidbits to think about.
Some 40% of shares are owned by retail investors. Season that with the understanding that margin debt is at or near record highs again. In a margin squeeze GE is big and liquid. It can solve a lot of emergency margin call pressure.
The short position has jumped but is still below 1% of float. The sharks are smelling the blood in the water.
Sell side analysts are overwhelmingly bullish. No significant sell or reduce calls from anyone. The cheerleaders are maxed out. You can re-issue the buy rating once in a while to make it look good but there is no one else to help with momentum.
Yes some of the fundamentals look good. GE is not going bankrupt. But the hype is starting to become excessive. All you need is a few down spikes and the spell will be broken. Retail investors will sell in a panic and institutions will go long on value.
Same old, same old.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.