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GE’s Q4 earnings fell by 18% and revenue came in short of expectations as a drag from discontinued operations, weakness in Europe and foreign exchange weighed on results. Earnings came in at $0.39 per share on revenue of $3.73 billion (down from $41.23 billion in Q4/10) while analysts were looking for $0.38 on $40.03 billion.
The company said that revenue was hurt by a negative impact from foreign exchange and slower growth in Europe. Additionally, the loss of NBC Universal contributed to the disappointing revenue number. Revenue excluding the impact of NBC actually increased 3.6% year-over-year. GE’s industrial business, which the company is leaning on to drive growth previously generated by its shrinking finance arm, rose by an anaemic 1.5% while industrial margins shrunk to 16.2% from 17.6% a year ago.
Management said it expects industrial margins to expand by 50 bps in 2012. Looking ahead, CEO Jeff Immelt said the company is well positioned to deliver double digit earnings growth in 2012 despite challenges in Europe and shaky performance in its healthcare and home appliance units. Immelt also noted that investors should not expect large acquisitions in 2012 after doing about $12 billion worth of deals in 2011 saying the company’s priorities for cash this year will be focused on dividend increases and share buybacks.
General Electric (GE : NYSE : US$19.15), Net Change: 0.00, % Change: 0.00%, Volume: 92,106,324
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