GE profit rose 5% in Q4 as industrial giant refocused
Emerging markets, oil and gas equipment strong sectors for General Electric
General Electric Co. posted increased revenue and profit for the fourth quarter on rising sales in emerging markets, higher banking profit, and stronger global sales of aircraft engines and oil and gas drilling equipment.
The company's profit for all of 2013 also rose, though revenue fell slightly, as GE continues its transformation from a sprawling conglomerate to a more focused industrial company that builds and services complex equipment such as CT-scanners, locomotives and gas-fired turbines.
Adjusted to remove the effects of one-time items and discontinued operations, GE earned 53 cents per share in the latest period. That matches what analysts polled by FactSet expected, on average.
GE shares fell 62 cents to $26.58 in Friday trading.
For the year, GE net income rose three per cent to $14.06 billion and revenue slipped less than 1 per cent to $146.05 billion. GE has been scaling back its financial division, called GE Capital, and it has shed non-industrial divisions such as NBC Universal. It plans to spin off its large consumer credit card business this year.
GE's fourth quarter results were also helped by profit growth of 20 per cent or more in its aviation, oil and gas, and appliances divisions.
"We saw good conditions in growth markets, strength in the U.S., and a mixed environment in Europe," GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement.
GE said its backlog — a measure of orders taken but not yet filled — grew to a record $244 billion in the fourth quarter, up $15 billion from the third quarter.