GE profits top estimates as energy unit earnings gain
General Electric reported first-quarter profit that fell less than analysts estimated as the finance unit stabilised and industrial equipment and service orders stayed level.
Profit from continuing operations attributable to GE fell to $2.34bn from $2.85bn a year earlier, the company said today in a statement.
The results topped the 16-cent average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue declined 4.8pc to $36.6bn, trailing analysts’ projections.
Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt’s efforts to stem loan losses and boost reserves at the finance division while pouring resources into a more focused lineup of industrial businesses have pushed the shares to the highest since the US financial crisis 18 months ago.
The total service and equipment order backlog, used by analysts to gauge potential shipments and profitability, was little changed at $174bn in the first quarter.
“GE’s environment continued to improve in the first quarter of 2010,” Immelt said in the statement.
“We saw encouraging economic signs, including increases in airline passenger miles and freight loadings, declines in receivables delinquencies, and growth in local advertising markets.”
Immelt said the company expects results this year to be little changed from 2009 with “upside potential.”
GE repeated that it anticipates full-year profit growth in both 2011 and 2012, following a similar prediction from Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin last month.
Losses inside GE Capital “seem to have peaked,” Immelt said in the statement.
GE shares rose 25 cents, or 1.3pc, to $19.75 at 6:37am before the start of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange.