General Electric released its fourth quarter earnings report before opening bell this morning, posting earnings of 52 cents per share from continuing operations on $33.9 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting GE to report 49 cents per share in earnings and $36.02 billion in revenue. In the previous year’s fourth quarter, revenue was $42 billion and earnings were 56 cents per share.
GE’s Industrial profit falls
GAAP earnings were 26 cents per share, representing a 26% year over year decline.
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The Industrial business was to blame for the revenue miss. The segment’s operating profit declined 8% or 1% organically to $5.5 billion. Total Industrial profit was $5.1 billion for the fourth quarter. Industrial revenues declined 1% year over year to $31.4 billion. GE took $32.5 billion Industrial orders during the fourth quarter and had a backlog of $315 billion in orders for the segment. The segment’s margin climbed 50 basis points to 19.3%.
“GE executed well in a slow-growth environment. For 2015, we accomplished all of the goals we outlined for investors,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement. “We recognize that the first few weeks of 2016 have been especially volatile. However, our orders in the fourth quarter grew 1% organically and our backlog grew to $315 billion with Alstom. We believe in the strength of our business model and that there is enough growth out there to deliver in 2016.”
The company is in the process of winding down its financial segment and focus on Industrials, which means that any concerns in the Industrial business is of big concern for investors. The oil and gas segment saw profits plunge 19% on the back of a 35% decline in orders. GE warned that the business isn’t out of the woods yet as crude oil prices are still falling. The power business also saw profits decline, falling by 10%, although the value of orders taken during the quarter climbed 40%.
GE reaffirms guidance
Immelt also said they are reaffirming the goals they set previously for 2016, including operating earnings of between $1.45 and $1.55 per share and organic growth of 2% to 4%. They also expect the company’s core margin to expand and generate cash of between $30 billion and $32 billion and to return $26 billion to shareholders.
Shares of GE fell by as much as 2% to $28 per share in premarket trading this morning.