Shares of General Electric Co. fell Monday, as the industrial conglomerate said it was issuing new debt to pay down some debt to push back maturities, and repaid some of its intercompany loan to its GE Capital subsidiary, in an effort to bolster its balance sheet.
Meanwhile, Baker Hughes Co.
, of which still owns a sizable stake, said it booked a $15 billion charge to write down the value of its oilfield services and equipment businesses as a result of the “collapse in oil prices” brought on by reduced demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and surplus demand from geopolitical issues.
lost 1.7% to close at $7.02. The stock, which closed at a 28-year low of $6.11 on March 23, has tumbled 42.1% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has dropped 19.1%.
Last week, GE said it expected to report first-quarter adjusted earnings that were “materially below” previously provided guidance. The company’s aviation and energy businesses operate in two of the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by the oil supply issues caused by the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war.
See related: GE’s stock falls to 28-year low after aviation unit cuts jobs as coronavirus weighs.
The trouble in the energy business was highlighted Monday by Baker Hughes’s announcement of a $15 billion impairment of goodwill. Baker Hughes also announced restructuring charges of $1.8 billion, with $1.5 billion to be recorded in the first quarter.
Because its market capitalization declined “significantly” during the first quarter and given the uncertainty related to oil demand, the company determined that a “triggering event” occurred requiring it to perform an impairment test. Baker Hughes’ stock, which rose 3.3% on Monday, had plummeted 59% during the first quarter.
Crude oil futures
rose 0.7% on Monday, but have tumbled 59.5% over the past three months. Read Futures Movers.
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“Based upon the results of the impairment test, the Company concluded that the carrying value of the Oilfield Services and Oilfield Equipment reporting units exceeded their estimated fair value, resulting in a goodwill impairment charge,” the company said in a statement.
In September 2019, GE had sold off 144.1 million shares of Baker Hughes for $3.0 billion in cash, to reduce its ownership stake in the oilfield services company, which was formerly known as Baker Hughes, a GE company, to 36.8% from 50.2%. Baker Hughes disclosed in its 2019 annual report that as of Dec. 31, GE owned a 36.7% stake.
Separately, GE said Monday that, to bolster its liquidity profile amid COVID-19-related uncertainties, it was issuing new debt to fund an immediate tender offer to buy GE bonds with maturities through 2024. The tender offer is for notes including the $3.00 billion, 2.700% notes due October 2022 and the EUR1.75 billion ($1.91 billion) 0.375% notes due May 2022, as well as the $750 million, 3.375% notes due March 2024.
GE also said it repaid $6 billion of its intercompany loan to GE Capital, with GE Capital using the proceeds to launch a tender to buy back up to $9 billion of debt maturing this year, the earliest being the EUR1.00 billion, 2.250% notes due in July and the $1.27 billion, 4.375% notes due in September.
“With net proceeds of about $20 billion from the sale of BioPharma now in hand, we are taking swift actions to de-risk and de-lever our balance sheet and prudently manage our liquidity amid a challenging external environment,” said Chief Executive Larry Culp.
GE said as of March 31, it held consolidated cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash of more than $47 billion. GE said it was also refinancing a backup credit facility that expires in 2021.