General Electric is an Inflation Reduction Act energy winner that nobody has talked much about—yet.
Most of the buzz has been about the boon to electrical vehicle makers .
Shares of Tesla (ticker: TSLA) are up roughly 14% since late July, when Senate Democrats finally came to a meeting of minds on a package of measure that include climate change, prescription drug costs, and taxes. Ford Motor (F) and General Motors (GM), which also getting into EVs big time, have added about 22% and 17%, respectively.
General Electric (GE) hasn't gained nearly as much—8%, a little more than the S&P 500's 6%—but investors might be underweighting the impact.
GE should get a big boost from the new law's production tax credit, or PTC, for wind-power generation—even if renewables amounted to less than a fifth, 17%, of the company's total sales in the second quarter. A PTC amounts to about a penny to 2 cents per kilowatt-hour that power generators can deduct from their taxable income.
The absence of a PTC is what led Wolfe Research analyst Nigel Coe to rethink his 2022 outlook for GE's renewable business. His estimate at the start of the year was for a break-even result; today, he expects a loss of about $1.6 billion.
The lack of PTC clarity has led to a boom/bust cycle of U.S. renewable-power installations. In the year's first two quarters, GE's renewable business generated less than $6 billion in sales, down almost 20% from the $7.3 billion in 2021's first two quarters of 2021.
"This deterioration has accounted for the entirety of our [per-share earnings] downgrades over the past 12 months," wrote Coe in a report Tuesday.
Wall Street 2022 earnings estimates for GE have gone from roughly $4 a share to $2.80 over the course of this year. That 30% reduction closely mirrored the stock's year-to-date loss through mid-July.
"This is why the restoration of the PTC in the Inflation Reduction Act, with project visibility over the next 10 years, is such an important catalyst for recovery," added Coe. "We also note that there are significant manufacturing credits worth up to $100m per [gigawatt] of turbine capacity that could provide additional support."
The analyst called the legislation a "key catalys" for the stock.
Coe rates GE shares Buy and has a $95 target price.
Overall, about 70% of analysts covering the stock rate shares Buy. The average Buy-rating ratio for stocks in the S&P is about 58%. The average analyst price target for GE stock is about $89 a share, up about 16% from recent levels.
GE's renewable business will eventually become part of GE Vernova, which is on track to be spun out as a separate company in 2024. GE HealthCare will be separated from the rest of GE in 2023.