Investors in General Electric reacted positively to news that the conglomerate agreed to sell off its remaining 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal. GE stock is up 3 percent since the announcement late Tuesday.
The $16.7 billion deal is part of a transition to a more purely industrial company. CEO Jeffrey Immelt has been reshaping GE to focus on its more traditional operations, such as making complex industrial equipment and providing services to companies.
Investors have been wanting such a transition for a long time. Although the stock market is trading near a 5-year high, GE stock remains more than 40 percent below where it stood in October 2007.
"This transaction allows us to significantly increase the cash we plan to return to shareholders in 2013, to approximately $18 billion, and to continue to invest in our industrial business," Immelt said in a statement.Associated Press