Monday, April 14, 2008

The Problem With GE

I've been bullish on industrial companies with international exposure, and still am. On Friday, we witnessed the problem of investing in GE to gain this exposure. Although GE's industrial unit is performing quite well, many of its other units, especially finance based units, are not. Thus, the stock suffers. This is a case in which diversification can hurt you.

Last week, I recommended Vanguard's Industrial ETF (VIS). It has a large weighting in GE (like 20%). The drop in GE's share price actually helps if you're looking to buy this ETF. I still like many names in the fund, and you get GE at 10-15 percent less than a week ago. Although GE has some headwinds with those specific divisions, their industrial companies will help earnings. The fund managers might lighten up its exposure on GE as well.

If you're worried about GE, you can buy an individual stock out of the fund, like Boeing, United Technologies, or Caterpillar, but you run the risk of an earnings miss in this unpredictable quarter.

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