General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) announced that it has completed the sale of its Australia and New Zealand (A&NZ) consumer finance business, representing aggregate ending net investment (ENI) of approximately US $4.3 billion, to a consortium made up of Värde Partners, KKR and Deutsche Bank.

“We are pleased to complete the sale of our consumer lending business in A&NZ,” said Keith Sherin, GE Capital chairman and CEO. “Combined with the recently announced agreement to sell our commercial lending business in A&NZ, this is a big step in the complete exit of GE Capital from the region,” added Sherin.

As previously announced, GE is embarking on a strategy to focus on its high-value industrial businesses and is selling most GE Capital assets. GE and its Board of Directors have determined that current market conditions are favorable to pursue disposition of these assets. GE will retain the financing verticals that relate to GE’s industrial businesses.

The A&NZ consumer transaction releases approximately US$1.7 billion of capital. GE Capital believes it is on track to deliver about US$35 billion of dividends to GE under this plan, as previously announced (subject to regulatory approval). Changes in the transaction size were driven by FX, normal portfolio movement, and other adjustments during the sign to close period.

Sherin concluded, “We wish our colleagues in the A&NZ consumer business team a successful future as they join their new partners in launching the business under the new owners as Latitude Financial Services.” (Original Source)

Shares of General Electric closed yesterday at $30.66, up $0.07 or 0.23%. GE has a 1-year high of $30.99 and a 1-year low of $19.37. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $29.35 and its 200-day moving average is $26.81.

On the ratings front, General Electric has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 23, Credit Suisse analyst Julian Mitchell maintained a Buy rating on GE, with a price target of $34, which implies an upside of 10.9% from current levels. Separately, on November 16, Deutsche Bank’s John G. Inch maintained a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $28.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Julian Mitchell and John G. Inch have a total average return of 11.0% and 12.4% respectively. Mitchell has a success rate of 73.7% and is ranked #346 out of 3641 analysts, while Inch has a success rate of 76.7% and is ranked #519.

Overall, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 7 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $32.00 which is 4.4% above where the stock closed yesterday.