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The GE Brief — March 14, 2019

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March 14, 2019

GE’S 2019 OUTLOOK

In an Investor Outlook meeting today, GE Chairman and CEO Larry Culp walked investors and analysts through the company’s 2019 plans to deliver on its strategic priorities. The company announced that it is expecting Industrial organic revenue (non-GAAP) growth in the low-to-mid single digits, and adjusted Industrial free cash flows (non-GAAP) in the range of negative $2 billion to $0 billion. “GE’s challenges in 2019 are complex but clear,” Culp said. “We are facing them head-on as we execute on our strategic priorities to improve our financial position and strengthen our businesses.”

The road ahead: GE expects Industrial free cash flow to return to positive territory in 2020 and accelerate thereafter in 2021. “We have work to do in 2019, but we expect 2020 and 2021 performance to be significantly better with positive Industrial free cash flow as headwinds diminish and our operational improvements yield financial results,” Culp said. “We will continue to take thoughtful actions to reduce downside risk and increase upside optionality to create value for our long-term shareholders.”

Culp was joined by other GE leaders during the presentation — learn more here about what they had to say about the company’s future.

HEALING ENERGY

The world is full of miracle drugs, but in some cases the risk of a medicine’s side effects can outweigh its benefits. This conundrum gave rise to bioelectronic medicine, a hybrid of neuroscience, molecular biology and bioengineering that taps into the nervous system to treat disease and injury without pharmaceuticals. The goal is to mimic the action of drugs by applying some form of energy, often a small electrical current, to the nervous system near affected organs: to the spleen, say, to treat inflammation due to sepsis. The results are promising, but the treatment requires surgically implanting electrodes, which could cause infection. Now GE Research’s bioelectronic medicine team, with scientists from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and other GE researchers, are discovering that ultrasound machines could someday provide a safer, less invasive alternative.

New wave treatment: In tests on pre-clinical models, described in a new article in Nature Communications, electrical pulses of ultrasound waves achieved similar effects to drugs on the spleen and the liver, without side effects or surgery. Ultrasound has a strong track record for safety, with doctors using it routinely to check the health of pregnant women and their fetuses. Though testing is in the early stages, the implications for how we heal could be significant. “Instead of having to take a bunch of pills, you might not need any drugs,” said GE Research’s Victoria Cotero. “Or maybe you take fewer drugs at lower doses, which is easier on the body. You might even be able to administer the ultrasound yourself with a home device.”

Learn more here about the healing potential of ultrasound.

CATCHING WIND

The longer the blades on a wind turbine, the more wind it can catch — which is why the new onshore wind turbine Cypress is set to stride like a colossus onto the renewable energy grid. GE Renewable Energy’s largest onshore wind turbine, Cypress boasts a massive 158-meter rotor diameter that will enable just one of the machines to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 5,000 European homes. A prototype of the turbine has just come to life in Europe and, unlike its coniferous namesake, this one grew quickly: GE announced Cypress in September 2017, began installation in late 2018, and has just now scored the first kilowatts of power from the machine.

Easy, breezy, powerful: Size aside, Cypress has got other cool features — like blades that come in two pieces, easing transport and installation and helping power producers squeeze more juice out of sites with limited land available. And engineers can tweak component specs like generator rating, tower height and noise rating to match local grid connection requirements or prevailing wind patterns and optimize the turbine’s output. “You can play around with Cypress depending on your envelope of conditions,” said GE’s Peter Wells. That’ll make it an appealing product not just in Europe but also in Asia, Australia and the Americas, both in places with established wind sectors and in places where local conditions haven’t been able to support ordinary wind turbines.

“It’s been an amazing journey so far,” Wells said. Learn more about Cypress’ windy voyage here.

 

— VIDEO OF THE WEEK —

— QUOTE OF THE DAY —

“We see a lot of potential in what this two-piece blade can offer us, including customizing blades more easily for sites.”

Peter Wells, GE Renewable Energy, Onshore Wind regional leader for Europe


Quote: GE Reports. Image: Getty Images.

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