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GE industrial profits rise 12 percent, shares up

April 17, 2014

By Lewis Krauskopf, Ernest Scheyder, Franklin Paul and Chizu Nomiyama

(Reuters) – General Electric Co posted a 12 percent rise in overall industrial profits on Thursday, as strength in its businesses selling gas turbines, jet engines and oil industry equipment offset weakness in healthcare and transportation.

GE, which is increasingly focusing on its traditional manufacturing businesses over its finance unit, posted an 8 percent increase in industrial revenue, even as overall company revenue fell slightly short of Wall Street’s target.

GE shares rose 1 percent in initial premarket trading, as profit also edged past analyst estimates.

“The big story is the organic revenue growth,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management, which owns GE shares. “It really shows the return to an industrial emphasis is paying off, and where the company is focusing.”

First-quarter net earnings fell to $3 billion, or 30 cents per share, from $3.53 billion, or 34 cents per share, a year ago, when the company’s results were boosted by its sale of NBCUniversal.

Excluding one-time items, operating earnings of 33 cents topped analysts’ average estimate by a penny, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 2.1 percent $34.18 billion. Analysts were looking for $34.36 billion.

GE backed its previous major 2014 financial targets.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf and Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Franklin Paul and Chizu Nomiyama)

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