General Electric Raises Its Free Cash Flow Target As Aviation Unit Takes Off

General Electric (NYSE:GE) raised its free cash flow target for this year as a recovery in the global aviation market is expected to boost demand for the U.S. industrial conglomerate's jet engines and aircraft parts.

The Boston-based company said it expects 2021 free cash flow to total $3.5 billion U.S. to $5 billion U.S., up from its previous forecast of $2.5 billion U.S. to $4.5 billion U.S.

General Electric's aviation unit, usually its biggest cash generator, has been hurt over the past year by the COVID-19 pandemic as airlines cut back on flights and grounded aircraft.

But the company said it expects a recovery in the airline market during the second half of this year.

General Electric’s second quarter revenue rose to $18.28 billion U.S. from $16.81 billion U.S. in the year earlier quarter. The company reported earnings per share of $0.05 for the second quarter, compared with Refinitiv data's average analyst estimate of a profit of $0.03 per share.