General Electric Reports Mixed Results For Third Quarter

General Electric (NYSE:GE) delivered mixed results for the third quarter of its fiscal year. For the September quarter, GE reported a profit of $2.03 billion, or 22 cents a share, compared with $2.51 billion, or 25 cents a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 32 cents, compared with 29 cents a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters projected 30 cents a share. Revenue rose 4.4 percent to $29.27 billion. Analysts had expected $29.64 billion.

Organic revenue, which excludes growth from acquisitions, grew 1 percent in the quarter. The company is under increasing pressure to show results from its industrial business. GE’s power, aviation and renewable energy segments drove industrial revenue growth. Revenue from power, its largest industrial segment, rose 37 percent. Revenue for its renewable energy segment rose 66 percent.

GE’s oil and gas business continued to weigh on revenue growth in the latest quarter. Oil-and-gas revenue fell 25 percent in the latest quarter, while profit for the segment fell 42 percent. GE said its total industrial profit fell 4.6 percent to $4.32 billion in the quarter.

GE reduced its full-year revenue estimation to flat to 2 percent growth, down from 2 percent to 4 percent growth. It also narrowed its adjusted profit forecast to between $1.48 and $1.52 a share, compared with its previous $1.45 to $1.55 a share forecast.

The industrial giant also announced it would increase its stock-buyback program by $4 billion. The company bought back $13.7 billion of its own stock through the first half of the year. The share repurchases announced Friday boosts its buyback target for the year to $22 billion. GE raised its full-year target for cash returned to shareholders to $30 billion from $26 billion and noted it had returned $25 billion in the first three quarters.

GE has disappointed Wall Street this year. Weak revenue in the first six months of the year have led to a raft of Wall Street downgrades. The company’s shares fell 1 percent to $28.77 in premarket trading. The stock has fallen 11 percent in the past three months. The company has a market value of roughly $260 billion.

The company decided to largely exit financial services last year. The financial business has long been seen by investors as a distraction that dragged on the company’s share price. The conglomerate’s lending arm, GE Capital, has shed a number of assets in recent months. GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said on Friday that its GE Capital asset sales are “substantially complete.” In 2015, Mr. Immelt won praise from analysts and investors for selling most of GE’s finance operation.

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