GE profit rises 36 percent, but sales slow

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[January 20, 2017]  By Alwyn Scott

(Reuters) - General Electric Co reported a 36 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings on Friday, helped by strength in its power and renewable energy businesses, and it affirmed its growth and profit forecasts for 2017.

The ticker and logo for General Electric Co. is displayed on a screen at the post where it's traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 30, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Boston-based maker of power plants, aircraft engines, locomotives and medical equipment said revenue fell 2.4 percent to $33.1 billion, slightly below Wall Street expectations of $33.6 billion.

Net income from continuing operations attributable to GE shareholders rose to $3.48 billion, or 39 cents a share, from $2.57 billion, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, earnings fell 2 percent to 46 cents a share, matching the analysts' average estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

GE said in December it expected revenue growth of 3 percent to 5 percent this year, excluding acquisitions, figures it affirmed on Friday.

Shares of GE were down 1.4 percent at $30.76 in premarket trading.

In the company's oil and gas operation, sales fell 22 percent to $3.4 billion, and profit dropped 43 percent to $411 million, due to weakness in that sector.

Sales in the power plant business increased 20 percent to $8.5 billion, or 6 percent excluding the benefits of its Alstom acquisition. The division booked $11 billion in orders during the quarter, up 16 percent from a year earlier, and profit rose 27 percent.

(Additional reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Edited by Lisa Von Ahn)

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