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GE Profit Tops Expectations Despite Flagging Oil Unit Sales

Posted by Reuters  |  January 23,2015  |  07:46 AM
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7:46 AM 01/23/15

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – General Electric Co’s quarterly earnings topped Wall Street’s estimate on Friday as its business of selling power-generating turbines drove a 9 percent increase in industrial profit despite weak sales in its oil and gas unit.

The U.S. conglomerate said its fourth-quarter net income rose 61 percent to $5.15 billion, or 51 cents per share, from a year earlier.

Excluding pension-related costs, earnings of 56 cents per share were 1 cent ahead of the analysts’ average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $42 billion. GE’s organic industrial revenue, which excludes the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations and deals, rose 9 percent.

Sales in the power and water unit, which sells a variety of turbines and is GE’s biggest industrial segment, rose 22 percent, while the aviation division’s sales increased 4 percent.

Revenue at the oil and gas division slumped 6 percent, although it was flat on an organic basis. Orders at the unit, which sells oil and gas equipment and services, fell 4 percent on an organic basis.

Investors have been concerned about flagging oil prices, which could lead the unit’s customers to slash spending.

GE shares rose 1.1 percent in premarket trading. Through Thursday, the stock was off 4 percent so far in 2015, against a slight increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index <.SPX>.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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