GE restructures: Focuses on healthcare, aviation, energy; scales back on 5 other businesses

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In an effort to achieve stronger growth, General Electric released restructuring plans Nov. 13, with an enhanced focus on its healthcare, aviation and energy businesses, as well as a halved dividend.

The company also estimated earnings lower than Wall Street forecasts and will be slimming down its board of directors from 18 to 12. The company's redesign is part of what its chief executive called "a reset year" when GE will emphasize three key sectors in 2018 — healthcare, aviation and energy — as opposed to its current wide-ranging interests that include media, railroads, chemicals, marine engines and banking.

"This is the opportunity really of a lifetime to reinvent an iconic company," CEO John Flannery said during his presentation at the company's investor day.

The quarterly dividend was cut in half from 24 cents to 12, a move Mr. Flannery called "extremely painful." GE notes its adjusted earnings for the year between $1 and $1.07 per share, and its free cash flow has been reduced to $6 billion from  $7 billion, and the company has promised financial improvements.

"We have not performed well for our owners," Mr. Flannery said. "This is unacceptable, and the management team is completely devoted to doing what it takes to correct that."

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