Accounting & Tax

GE Profits Plummet, But Hopeful Signs Appear

GE's second-quarter profits sank 30% from last year, but revenue was up, beating analyst expectations.
William SprouseJuly 20, 2018

General Electric reported that its second-quarter profit was down 30% from the same year-earlier quarter, driven in large part by weakness in the company’s power division.

However, some results were more positive and seem to provide a glimmer of hope for the beleaguered industrial company.

GE posted profits of 7 cents per share, down from 10 cents per share in last year’s second quarter. Net income was 8 cents per share, down from 12 cents.

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On the other hand, adjusted earnings were 19 cents per share, higher than the 17 cents that analysts expected. And second-quarter revenue was $30.1 billion, up 3%. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected revenue to be $29.31 billion.

The company said it continues to expect full-year earnings of $1 to $1.07 per share.

“We would call this a solid yet boring quarter from GE — but given the number of blow-ups seen over the past year, boring is a welcome outcome,” Deutsche Bank analyst Nicole DeBlase wrote in a research note.

GE chairman and CEO John Flannery said, “The second quarter was in line with expectations, and we saw continued strength across many of our segments, especially in aviation and healthcare.”

Those two segments as well as the company’s transportation grew, but its power and oil-and-gas units stumbled badly, with profits down 58% and 39%, respectively, year-over-year.

GE said revenue from its power unit fell by 19%, reflecting a 26% decrease in orders.

“We expect the power market to remain challenging, and we continue our focus on operational improvement,” Flannery said. He added that the power business will require a “multiyear fix.”

The company’s shares are down more than 47% in the last year, although they have stabilized in the last quarter.

Flannery said the company wants to decrease structural costs more than $2 billion in 2018. It cut $1.1 billion in the first half of the year. “We are progressing on our plans to make GE simpler and stronger,” he said.

GE has said it expects no profit growth this year.