June 20 (UPI) — For the first time in more than a century, General Electric was dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and will be replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance.
GE was an original member of the Dow in 1896 and served as a continuous member of the elite 30-stock index since November 7, 1907.
The Dow said Walgreens, with a higher share price, would contribute more “meaningfully” to the index and better represent the U.S. economy.
“With its addition, the DJIA will be more representative of the consumer and healthcare sectors,” David Blitzer, managing director of Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.
GE, which was the world’s most valuable public company less than 20 years ago, now ranked as the sixth smallest member of the Dow by market value and carried the index’s lowest stock price — making it the least influential component of the stock lineup.
In the past few years, the iconic maker of light bulbs and jet engines replaced its CEO, cut thousands of jobs and slashed its stock dividend in half. To pay off debt, GE has sold off long-held businesses, including its century-old railroad division, and searched for a buyer for its struggling light bulb division.
“We are focused on executing against the plan we’ve laid out to improve GE’s performance,” GE said in a statement. “Today’s announcement does nothing to change those commitments or our focus in creating in a stronger, simpler GE.”
Tuesday’s announcements mark the first shakeup of the Dow since 2015, when Apple replaced AT&T on the stock index.