Shares of industrial conglomerate General Electric Co. (GE) sank near their 52-week low this week on a bearish note from the Street, warning investors not to look at the stock’s recent weakness as a sign to buy it at a discount. (See also: The Future of General Electric: The Red or Blue Pill?)

JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa issued a research note offering a downbeat outlook for the Boston-based corporation, in which he maintained his underweight rating with a price target of $22, reflecting an approximate 9.5% downside from Wednesday afternoon at $24.30.

Are Fundamentals That Bad?

As the stock’s weakness continues, Tusa suggests that investors and analysts alike are appearing to try to create a more bullish narrative, mostly revolving around how much GE has underperformed its industry peers and the market as a whole. However, he notes that analysts have been careful not to raise their ratings.

“We believe this defines sentiment on the stock, which is somewhere between somewhat negative, and what we would characterize as ‘chicken bullish,’ with a common theme [that] it’s not bad, understandable in the context of a sector that typically mean reverts,” wrote the analyst. “This is essentially a denial that fundamentals could be this bad, and there is nothing that simple cost saves can’t take care of, something that was not obvious to the previous 15 years of management.”

Trading up about 0.4% on Wednesday afternoon at $24.30 per share, GE reflects a 23.1% decline year-to-date (YTD), versus the S&P 500’s 11.8% gain over the same period and the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 13.1% rally. In August, GE instated new Chief Executive Officer John Flannery, following the forced resignation of 16-year CEO Jeff Immelt by activist investors. (See also: Sell GE As Earnings Won’t Matter: Deutsche Bank.)

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