Earnings Outlook: GE earnings—No more drama, please

The best that investors can hope for from General Electric Co. when the struggling industrial conglomerate reports second-quarter results before the stock market opens on Friday is boring — just plain earnings and revenue, with a little free cash flow and no drama about new charges or comments about the dividend.

Investors have had a lot to stress over the past year, as the stock has tumbled nearly 50%. The company has undergone a leadership change, cut its dividend in half, uncovered large insurance-related losses and continued to transform its focus through planned asset sales. Chief Executive John Flannery gave a confidence-rattling presentation at an industry conference in May.

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