GE First Quarter Earnings Soar

Apr 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Business and Finance

GE announced strong first-quarter earnings Thursday. Large gains stemmed partly from the performance of GE’s commercial lending and leasing service, GE Capital, which was able to set aside less money to cover bad loans, and a result tripled its profit to $1.8 billion after taxes.

B131 Jeffrey Immelt 268x300 GE First Quarter Earnings Soar

Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and C.E.O. General Electric. Photo by WRI Staff

GE reported revenue of $38.4 billion, an increase of 6 percent from the first quarter of 2010; operating earnings of $3.6 billion, a 58 percent increase from the first quarter of 2010; earnings from continuing operations of $3.4 billion, up 48 percent from last year; and profit of $3.4 billion, or 31 cents a share, up from last year’s $2.0 billion, or 17 cents a share.

GE also raised its quarterly dividend by .01 to .15, effective the third quarter of 2011. This is the third dividend increase GE has declared over the last 12 months, reflecting growing confidence.

GE executives expressed optimism after the report. “As today’s results show, GE has emerged from the recession a stronger, more competitive company,” announced GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “GE Healthcare, Transportation and Aviation delivered strong results. Strategic investments in high-growth segments have strengthened the company’s Energy portfolio and position that business to return to growth in the second half of this year. . . GE Capital also had a strong first quarter. . . We have strengthened the GE Capital franchise and are on track for solid earnings growth.”

GE’s first quarter growth follows Immelt’s January appointment as the Obama administration’s jobs czar for the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Despite the announcement, GE shares were down 50 cents to $19.90 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, a drop of 2.5 percent. Investors remain tentative about whether GE can sustain the pace of its recovery following the nation’s financial crisis, which weighed heavily on GE Capital.

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