On Friday, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) announced its second-quarter earnings dropped 18 percent, but its profit from operations came in higher than analysts’ expectations, thanks to growth from its large energy infrastructure division and GE Capital finance unit.
Earnings excluding items increased to $4.01 billion ($0.38 cents a share), a seven percent rise from $3.75 billion ($0.34 cents a share) from the previous year. Analysts had forecast $0.37 earnings.
Revenue increased 2.5 percent to $36.5 billion, from good results out of GE’s industrial business; this came in just below analyst estimates of $36.8 billion.
In addition, revenue from these industrial businesses, which encompasses energy infrastructure and aviation, increased 8.8 percent to $25.04 billion in the second quarter. Their profits also increased 6.8 percent to $3.74 billion, thanks to the energy division’s 13 percent profit growth to $1.76 billion. This includes wind and natural gas turbines, solar panels and other products and services.
GE also reaffirmed its double-digit profit growth expectation for 2012, and said GE Capital saw increased profits of 31 percent from healthy results in its real estate financing business.
In a statement by GE CEO, Jeffery Immelt, via Benzinga, he said, “We are executing our growth strategy in the midst of a still volatile global economy. We achieved order expansions in growth markets of 14 percent.”
On the downside, GE’s overall margins at the company’s industrial units continued to fall, along with orders for new infrastructure declining to about one percent to $23.1 billion. GE also noted that negative foreign-exchange rates impaired revenue growth.
One especially disappointing bit of news was wind turbines. In the quarter, orders declined 37 percent. On a positive note, on a year-to-date basis, orders have increased eight percent.
The negative news shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as prior to GE’s earnings report, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) analysts had warned the company would see a decline in wind business orders, as U.S. customers had previously made the majority of their orders, reported MarketWatch‘s Bob Schler. The company also commented that a large air show won’t take place until the third quarter, negatively impacting aviation business results.
On a different note, GE announced plans to divide its energy business into three unique operations: GE Power and Water in Schenectady, NY, GE Oil and Gas in Florence, Italy, and GE Energy Management in Atlanta. Immelt said this change will consolidate its different energy operations and slash costs. The company also said the division’s head, John Krenicki, will leave the company at year’s end.
In premarket trading, GE’s shares rose $0.10 to $19.90. It is currently up 0.40 percent to $19.88.