GE misses revenue estimates on foreign exchange
But the conglomerate meets earnings estimates and enjoys a $2.4 billion dividend from GE Capital.
General Electric (GE) on Friday missed the consensus third-quarter revenue estimate as foreign exchange took its toll. But the conglomerate also reported that its financial arm paid a $2.4 billion dividend to the parent company.
GE reported third-quarter operating earnings of $3.8 billion, or 36 cents a share, meeting the consensus estimate among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Operating earnings declined from 38 cents in the second quarter but grew from 31 cents during the third quarter of 2011.
Third-quarter revenue totaled $36.349 billion, missing the consensus estimate of $36.935 billion, as foreign exchange "negatively impacted revenues by $1.1 billion." Total revenue was down slightly from $36.501 billion the previous quarter, and from $35.367 billion a year earlier.
GE CEO Jeff Immelt said: "The overall environment remains challenging, but GE continues to execute on our growth strategy. . . . Industrial segments delivered another quarter of strong organic revenue growth, and we ended the quarter with a robust backlog. As expected, our margins increased 70bps over the prior year period, with margin expansion in all five Industrial segments."
For GE's Energy Infrastructure segment, third-quarter revenue totaled $12.180 billion, increasing from $11.919 billion in the second quarter, and $10.855 billion during the third quarter of 2011. The segment's third-quarter profit was $1.695 billion, increasing from $1.755 billion the previous quarter, and $1.503 billion a year earlier.
The company said that during the third quarter, "Infrastructure orders were $21.5 billion, down 5% (year over year) primarily driven by a decrease in orders for wind turbines. Orders were up 4% excluding the effects of Wind and FX. Year-to-date orders were up 4%, with four out of five Infrastructure businesses showing growth."
Third-quarter Aviation revenue totaled $4.781 billion, declining from $4.855 billion the previous quarter, and $4.835 billion a year earlier. Aviation profit for the third quarter was $924 million, increasing slightly from $922 million in the second quarter, and growing 7% from $862 million in the third quarter of 2011.
Health care revenue totaled $4.307 billion during the third quarter, declining from $4.500 billion in the second quarter, but increasing from $4.332 billion a year earlier. Profit for the Health care segment was in at $620 million in the third quarter, declining from $694 million in the second quarter, but increasing from $608 million in the third quarter of 2011.
Transportation revenue declined sequentially to $265 million in the third quarter, from $282 million in the second quarter, but grew 35% year-over-year, from $196 million in the third quarter of 2011.
GE Capital's third-quarter revenue totaled $36.166 billion, declining from $36.501 billion the previous quarter, but growing from $35.418 billion a year earlier. Third-quarter profit for the finance segment was $1.679 billion, declining from $1.755 billion in the second quarter, but growing from $1.519 billion in the third quarter of last year.
Following the $2.4 billion payment to the parent company, GE Capital's Tier 1 common equity ratio remained "strong at 10.2%," as of Sept 30.%.
Immelt said GE continues to focus on "returning cash from GE Capital to fund balanced capital allocation for our shareholders."
The company said it returned $8.4 billion to shareholders year-to-date, including $3 billion in share buybacks, and that it "ended the quarter with $85 billion of consolidated cash and cash equivalents."
Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Andrew Obin said after the earnings release that "GE operating results were broadly in line with our forecast, [although] industrial operating results represented a slight shortfall to our forecast," and that the GE Capital dividend paid to the parent "was ahead of our forecast of $2.0bn."
Obin added that "GE's ability to extract more capital out of GECC ahead of the Street's expectations will be one of the key drivers of the stock in 2013."
The analyst rates General Electric a "Buy," with a $25 price target, and estimates that GE will earn $1.76 a share in 2013, increasing from his 2012 earnings per share estimate of $1.56. Obin said that "over the last two decades GE's stock performance has closely tracked the company's ROE." He estimates the company's return on equity for 2013 will be 13.5%.
GE's shares closed at $22.81 Thursday, returning 31% year-to-date, following a 1% return during 2011.
The shares trade for 13 times the consensus 2013 earnings per share estimate of $1.74.
Based on a 17-cent quarterly payout, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.98%.
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