UBS Securities Tuesday raised its investment rating on General Electric, noting the potential for the company’s domestic natural gas turbine business to post stronger-than-expected orders this year and next.
In a research note, UBS analyst David Bleustein said the announcement yesterday of TXU’s acquisition by a group of private-equity firms could mark the acceleration of corporate actions influenced by environmental considerations.
“We believe that phenomenon, coupled with still-growing national demand for electric power, could eventually cause a surge in demand for gas-fired turbines in the United States,” Bleustein said.
As reported Monday, a group including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group said it plans to buy TXU for a total of close to $45 billion, including the assumption of $12 billion in debt. As part of its negotiations, the private-equity group was compelled to negotiate with environmentalist concerning TXU’s controversial plan to build 11 new coal-fired power plants. The group has agreed to limit the number of new coal plants to three.
Bleustein’s price target on GE shares is $45; the shares were recently trading at close to $35.