GE "has a big hill to climb in the second half," Jeff Sprague, an analyst with Vertical Research Partners, said in a note to clients.
Reaching the 2017 target would require performance in the six months through December much like last year's, when GE generated about $11 billion in the second half, CFO Jeff Bornstein said in a telephone interview.
Shares of the company, founded as a light bulb-maker by Thomas Edison in the late 1800s, had previously dropped 4.5% to $26.69 since Immelt announced his retirement -- even though the stock led gains on the Dow Jones Industrial Average the day he did so.
Watch More: This Is What General Electric's Results Reveal About the Rest of Earnings Season Income on a net basis, including parts of the GE Capital lending business sold since last year, fell 57% to $1.19 billion, or 15 cents a share, the company said in a statement.
"The global scale of the company, along with our ability to innovate industry-leading products and services, will help us navigate the current environment and unlock productivity across our businesses and markets," Immelt said in the statement.