General Electric Earnings Top Lowered Estimate

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) reported first-quarter 2016 results before markets opened Friday. The conglomerate posted diluted net earnings per share (EPS) of $0.21 on revenues of $27.85 billion. In the same period a year ago, GE reported EPS of $0.20 on revenues of $26.24 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.19 on revenues of $27.62 billion.

On a GAAP basis, GE posted a net loss of $0.01 per share. Foreign exchange effects in the industrials segment nicked two cents from earnings.

Three months ago, the consensus analyst estimate for EPS was $0.27. That dropped to $0.19 before rising a penny in the past week.

Operating profit in GE’s industrial segments fell 7% to $3.3 billion. GE’s Alstom acquisition contributed a net loss of $0.01 per share in the quarter, but the company still expects Alstom to contribute $0.05 in EPS for the year.

Revenues in the oil and gas segment were down 18% year over year in the quarter from $4.04 billion to $3.31 billion. Energy connections revenue rose 34% to $2.26 billion, and renewable energy revenues were up 62% to $1.67 billion.

The company has signed deals to sell $166 billion worth of assets in its GE Capital segment. Of that total, $146 billion has closed. GE Capital paid a $7.5 billion dividend to the parent company in the first quarter and is on track to contribute $18 billion in the fiscal year.

GE also noted that its backlog during the quarter rose 18% year over year to $316 billion. Of that total, $228 billion is services backlog and $88 billion is equipment.

CEO Jeff Immelt said:

A transformed GE is well positioned to deliver for shareholders. Today our portfolio is simpler and stronger. We are ahead of the GE Capital exit plan with $166B in deals signed. We are already seeing valuable synergies from the Alstom acquisition. Our investments in GE Digital have positioned us as the leader in the Industrial Internet. We opened Predix in the first quarter and have more than 7,500 developers registered. GE is executing well and is on track to meet its investor goals for 2016.

In a presentation accompanying the financial release, GE reported that it continues to expect 2016 EPS in the range of $1.45 to $1.55. Estimated free cash flow and dispositions were raised from a range of $28 billion to $31 billion to a new range of $29 billion to $32 billion. GE continues to expect to return dividends totaling approximately $8 billion and buybacks totaling about $18 billion in 2016.

Analysts have estimated second-quarter EPS of $0.28 on revenues of $31.98 billion. For the 2016 fiscal year, the current consensus calls for EPS of $1.50 on revenues of $126.05 billion.

Shares traded down about 1.2% in Friday’s premarket session, at $30.62 in a 52-week range of $19.37 to $32.05. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $33.09 before the results were announced.