GE Q3 Profits in Line With Analysts Estimates

October 22 00:00 2011

New York, October 22 ( – Fairfield, Connecticut- based GE said today in a statement that its earnings rose 11 percent in the third quarter and that the gains in the finance unit blunted the tighter profit margins in the energy business.

GE reported that earnings from continuing operations were $3.4 billion, or 31 cents a share, compared with $3.06 billion, or 28 cents, a year earlier excluding pension costs. These results matched the 31-cent average of 13 analysts’ estimates.

The rebounding of profit at GE Capital has been made possible due to Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt simplifying the business and concentrating on areas like middle-market lending. The overall earnings from finance are being shrunk and industrial operations are getting more attention from him because the largest unit, energy infrastructure, declined more than what some analysts estimated.

Joel Levington, managing director of corporate credit for Brookfield Asset Management in New York said, “Energy came in a little light of our expectations,” and added that “Pricing still looks to be challenging, while GE Capital performed slightly better. All told, nothing too exciting, which given the macro backdrop, is a reasonable result.”

GE shares dropped 15 cents to $16.60 before the start of regular trading in New York. This year before today, the shares fell 9.1 percent, outstripping the 3.4 percent drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.