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GE reports 21% Q2 profit growth


General Electric (GE) Co (NYSE:GE) announced Friday a 21% hike in its second quarter earnings as its transportation unit saw strong growth, offseting weaker results in energy infrastructure and home and business services.

For the three months ending June 30, the Fairfield, Connecticut-based diversified infrastructure, finance and media giant reported a net income of $3.76 billion, or $0.35 per share, up from $3.11 billion, or $0.28 per share, a year ago.

Operating earnings rose to $0.34 from $0.29 per share.

Revenues slipped to $35.6 billion, down 4% from $36.9 billion in the year-ago period. However, in the first quarter of the year, GE sold a majority stake in its NBC Universal Media business to Comcast Corp, and adjusted for this impact, revenues were $35.3 billion, up 7% from $33.2 billion a year ago.

Analysts had estimated earnings of $0.32 per share, on revenues of $34.72 billion.

"With our fifth-consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth, we continue to execute in a volatile environment," said CEO Jeff Immelt.

"GE’s backlog grew to a record high of $189 billion. Total infrastructure orders were up 24%, reflecting robust strength in equipment orders, up 33%, and service orders up 16%."

Despite its backlog, GE's energy infrastructure segment saw a 19% slip in profit, to $1.6 billion, despite a 9% increase in revenue. Energy profits declined 24% on pressure in the renewable energy sector, partially offset by a 14% increase in oil and gas profits.

Still, profits at GE Capital, the largest segment by top-line contribution, more than doubled over the quarter, but revenues edged down over 1%. The portion of the business that deals with consumer and commercial lending and leasing, and real estate, posted after-tax profits of $1.7 billion, compared to $743 million a year ago, largely a result of commercial strength.

GE's home and business services segment, which includes the company's Proficy line of softwares, saw income fall 26% year-over-year to $106 million.

However, the company's aviation, healthcare, and transportation segments each more than offset the loss, seeing profit increases of 9%, 8%, and over 584%, respectively.

Immelt added: "Overall, Industrial earnings should improve in the second half of 2011 and the cycle is expected to accelerate in 2012."

Indeed, GE said its aviation business announced a $27 billion win at the Paris Air Show in June, and its LEAP-X engine has positioned itself as the sole source for Boeing's 737 re-engine program.

Quick facts: General Electric

Price: 10.88 USD

Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $95.09 billion

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