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Why General Electric Earnings Won't Move the Needle Much

22 July 2017
Why General Electric Earnings Won't Move the Needle Much

GE improved its cash flow and ramped up cost-cutting efforts - two areas of investor focus - in Chief Executive Jeff Immelt's last quarter at the helm.

GE has been under pressure to cut expenses after missing profit goals but Friday's results are a sign that the company is headed toward a successful turnaround.

With oil prices having fallen from $53 to $48 per barrel over the second quarter, GE warned of weaker full-year trading from its unit that serves the oil & gas industry.

Revenues in the oil & gas segment fell 3% year over year in the quarter from $3.22 billion to $3.11 billion.

GE said it will include an assessment of the entire business, a review of cost cuts, capital allocation and update the 2018 outlook. Of that total $242.6 billion is services backlog and $84.2 billion is equipment.

On the renewable energy front, the company announced at least $1.6 billion in acquisitions of wind power rivals and realized billions of dollars more in onshore wind orders in the United States alone.

That doesn't mean the manufacturing giant founded by Thomas Edison in the late 1800s will be in limbo from the time the 55-year-old Flannery takes the reins from Jeffrey Immelt on August 1 until he presents his strategy to investors in November. Six-month revenue of $4.5 billion from renewable energy was up 20 percent from a year ago.

Aviation and slid 3 percent in the oil and gas unit, which has struggled amid the plunge and sluggish recovery of crude prices.

The stock had initially rallied after GE's second-quarter report was released (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ges-stock-gains-after-profit-and-sales-beat-expectations-2017-07-21), to be up as much as 1.8% at about 6:45 a.m. ET, as the company handily beat profit and sales expectations. Much of the drop came from a year-ago boost from the sale of its home appliances business.

Moody's reported adjusted earnings of $1.51 per share on $1 billion in revenue, compared to the consensus estimates of $1.34 per share and $959.2 million in revenue. The company reported 30 cents per share in earnings on $33.49 billion in revenue.

On the company's and analysts' preferred basis of comparison, industrial operating and verticals earnings fell 48%, from $4.68 billion in the second quarter of 2016 to $2.42 billion and adjusted EPS fell 45%, to $0.28.

Imani Moise contributed to this article.