GE (GE) Falls Over

April 11, 2008 by Douglas A. McIntyre

It is time for Jeff Immelt to leave. His plans for GE’s long-term future are a wreak.

GE’s pitch that being in many businesses is better than one and being in businesses in many parts of the world fell apart like a cheap clock today. Infrastructure is the one and only good operation at GE and that has been true for two years. That fact was dragged further into the daylight by the company’s most recent results. They are the strongest argument yet that everything other than the company’s largest unit should be spun-out.

GE (NYSE: GE) missed most of Wall St’s estimates for the first quarter. Earnings were $0.44 compared to a First Call consensus of $0.51 and revenue was $42.2 billion compared to a guess of $42.7 billion.

For the second quarter, the company also guided low, at EPS of $0.53 to $0.55 versus a Wall St consensus of $0.58.

Demand for our global Infrastructure business remained strong, but our financial services businesses were challenged by a slowing U.S. economy and difficult capital markets, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said

The only operating unit at the company which did well was the huge infrastructure business. Its revenue rose 23% to almost $15 billion. Operating income was up 17% to $2.588 billion.

NBC Universal continued to be a modest performer. Revenue in that part of GE’s business was up 1% and operating profits ticked up slightly to $712 million.

The financial businesses at GE were a disaster. GE Money operating income was down 19%. Commercial Finance was off 20%. The industrial and healthcare businesses also turned in dreadful performances.