GE booted from the blue-chip Dow Jones index

Marco Green
June 21, 2018

S&P Dow Jones Indices, which publishes the index, said Tuesday that General Electric (GE) will be removed on June 26 before trading opens.

The one-time industrial powerhouse will be replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance, the Deerfield, Illinois-based drugstore chain created in a 2014 merger.

GE, which was the world's most valuable public company less than 20 years ago, now ranked as the sixth smallest member of the Dow by market value and carried the index's lowest stock price - making it the least influential component of the stock lineup.

GE reached its peak share price in late August 2000, about a year before longtime Chief Executive Jack Welch turned over the reins to Jeffrey Immelt.

GE fell 1 percent in extended trade following the announcement, while Walgreens jumped 3 percent. One positive was probably its stock price: at around $65, it won't distort the Dow, whose members are weighted according to price rather than market capitalization. Its shares fell as low as $12.50 in premarket trading Wednesday, which would be its lowest closing price since 2009. It's lost nearly $140 billion (U.S.) of market value in the past year, spurring a plan to shed $20 billion of assets in a bid to realign businesses and cut costs as the company grapples with debt challenges and flagging demand. A Dow company is typically a global giant.

The Dow, which took its current form in 1896, is unusual in that it is weighted by the stock prices of its components, not their market values. Struggling with weak profits and facing calls to be broken up, GE shares have already dropped 15 percent this year.

The stock-price slide is a key factor in GE's exit from the Dow, which is calculated using the prices of 30 large, or "blue chip" stocks from various USA industries.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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