General Electric Earnings Beat, Record Backlog Please Investors

GE Logo
Source: courtesy of General Electric
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) reported second-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The conglomerate posted adjusted diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $0.36 on revenues of $35.73 billion. In the same period a year ago, GE reported EPS of $0.36 and revenues of $36.25 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.35 on revenues of $35.96 billion.

Lower revenues at GE Capital and a negative foreign exchange impact of $132 million were responsible for the 1% revenue decline year-over-year.

GE noted that orders during the quarter rose 19% sequentially to $25.7 billion and that its backlog of services and equipment at the end of the second quarter was $229 billion, the highest ever for the company. Infrastructure pricing did not change, and the book-to-bill ratio for equipment orders now stands at 1.2.

The company did not provide guidance in its press release, but the consensus estimate for the fourth quarter calls for EPS of $0.54 on revenues of $40.75 billion. For the full year, EPS is pegged at $1.64 on $146.27 billion in revenue. The full-year revenue estimate has come down $1 billion since the end of the second quarter, and the full-year EPS estimate is $0.02 lower.

The company’s CEO said:

Our third-quarter results were very strong in an improving global business environment. Orders grew 19% with orders growth around the world. Total segment profit grew 12%, Industrial margins grew 120 basis points in the quarter, and we are on track for planned margin expansion of 70 basis points for the year. … Our strategic initiatives are working: growth market orders expanded 22%; service revenues grew 7%; and margins grew significantly, driven by a positive value gap and company-wide simplification efforts. We have reduced Industrial structural costs by approximately $1 billion year-to-date, and will exceed our plan for the year.

Revenues in the company’s Power & Water segment were down 10% year-over-year, but that was an improvement over a 17% decline in the second quarter and a 26% decline in the first quarter. Power & Water, which is GE’s largest segment by revenue, also showed a year-over-year profit gain of 9%, far better than the second-quarter decline of 17%.

Shares were up 2.7% in premarket trading Friday morning to $25.35, above the current 52-week range of $19.87 to $24.95. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $26.40 before the results were announced.

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