Goldman Sachs thinks it's time to back up the dump truck on still fundamentally beat up industrial giant General Electric (GE). 

The call: GE may not be so fundamentally beat up for much longer. 

"We view GE as the ultimate self-help, re-opening levered story in Industrials," said Goldman Sachs analyst Joe Ritchie in a new research note on Tuesday. The analyst slapped a $16 price target on GE's stock, representing about a 22% upside from current levels. 

Shares rose 1.3% to $13.06 in early afternoon trading Tuesday. GE's stock is up 21% year-to-date, per Yahoo Finance Plus data. That's better than the 18% gain in Caterpillar (CAT) and the 13% rise in 3M (MMM), two fellow industrials. 

But Goldman's Ritchie didn't rule out a much higher move to the upside for GE's stock as it continues to repair its finances under well-paid CEO Larry Culp and partakes in the global economic recovery. 

"We view the next chapter for GE, beyond our $16 price target, as being driven by +double-digit free cash flow margins (or $1/share in free cash flow), which would imply a $20+ valuation," Ritchie posited. 

For 2021, Ritchie estimates GE will generate $4.2 billion in free cash flow. The company's guidance called for free cash flow in the range of $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion. Adjusted earnings are forecast by GE to come in at $0.15 to $0.25 for 2021.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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