GE Changes Guidance Policy; Reaffirms Targets (GE)

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General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) has reconfirmed its December 2 earnings outlook of $0.50 to $0.52 EPS excluding charges and $0.36 to $0.42 including charges); it still sees full-year 2008 earnings of $1.78 to $1.84 EPS from $185 billion in revenue.

But here is where this gets interesting.  GE is eliminating its policy of issuing quarterly guidance and will now provide a framework for annual operating earnings.  It will also continue to run the Consumer & Industrial segment as part of its portfolio.

Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, "We expect the difficult marketconditions to continue in 2009…. we are aggressively reducing costsand improving cash generation. In 2009, we have set forth a frameworkof industrial businesses’ earnings growth of 0-5%…" 

GE still expects $5 billion in financial segment earnings in 2009.  Itwill continue to run C&I business as part of the portfolio, meaningthat those units are now not going to be sold or spun-off in the nearfuture.  In this environment of no deals and low liquidity, that shouldhave been expected.

The conglomerate also maintained that $0.31 quarterly dividend.

Jon C. Ogg
December 16, 2008