General Electric Meets Profit Estimates In 4Q
General Electric (NYSE:GE) met expectations for profit in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year. GE’s net earnings fell 45 percent compared to a year earlier, dropping to $3.5 billion. The company earned 46 cents on a per-share basis, meeting the expectations of polled analysts. The company also reported a slump in revenue for the quarter. Total revenue declined 2 percent to $33.1 billion, lower than expectations of $33.7 billion.
General Electric said that the underperforming oil and gas sector took a bite out of its bottom line. The oil and gas division posted a 22 percent drop in revenue, falling to $3.4 billion, while its profit fell 43 percent, declining to $411 million. Energy connections revenue declined 29 percent to $3.33 billion and renewable energy revenues increased 29 percent to $2.50 billion.
General Electric’s power division, its largest segment, reported revenue growth of 20 percent to $8.5 billion. Profit in that segment increased 27 percent to $2.1 billion. GE also noted that its backlog during the quarter rose 2 percent year over year to $321 billion, with $237 billion in services and $84 billion in equipment. GE manufactures power plants, aircraft engines, locomotives and other industrial equipment.
General Electric also reported its full-year 2016 results. For the full year, GE reported revenue of $123.7 billion and earnings per share of 89 cents. Analysts had estimated full-year revenue of $124.3 billion and earnings of $1.49 per share. The prior year, the company reported revenue of $117.4 billion and a loss of 61 cents per share. Last year’s totals included big write-downs for the company’s divestments of portions of GE Capital.
General Electric reported $32.6 billion of free cash flow and dispositions for 2016. GE returned $30.5 billion to shareholders in 2016, $22 billion through share buybacks. General Electric reported that it expects 2017 adjusted earnings per share in the range of $1.60 to $1.70. The company also expects to return dividends of $8 billion and make buybacks totaling $11 billion to $13 billion in 2017. Estimated free cash flow and dispositions for 2017 are forecast in a range of $16 billion to $20 billion.
GE stock fell 1.5 percent after the earnings announcement. The stock had gained 11 percent year to date through Thursday.