Overseas Sales Fuel GE's 2Q Earnings Beat

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Powered by overseas growth, blue-chip conglomerate General Electric (GE) revealed a stronger-than-expected 21% rise in second-quarter profits on Friday.

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Fairfield, Conn.-based GE said it earned $3.76 billion, or 35 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $3.11 billion, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 34 cents a share, compared with consensus calls for 32 cents.

Revenue slid 3.5% to $35.63 billion, surpassing the Streets view of $34.7 billion. Excluding the impact of NBC Universal, which it sold majority control of to Comcast (CMCSA), revenue was up 7%.

After struggling throughout the deep recession and financial crisis, GE has now posted five-straight quarters of double-digit earnings growth.

In another positive sign, GE reported a 24% rise in infrastructure orders, including a 33% leap in equipment orders and a 16% rise for services.

We continue to execute in a volatile environment, CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement. We are very encouraged by second-quarter orders and earnings momentum across the company. We are optimistic about our growth prospects in the second half and beyond.

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GEs results were driven by overseas growth as its international revenue from industrial operations soared 23% to $13.4 billion, representing 59% of the companys total industrial revenue. A number of regions posted double-digit growth, including India, China, Southeast Asia, Africa and Russia.

GE Capital, a serious trouble spot during the crisis, continued its turnaround amid growing consumer and commercial lending. Total revenue at the financial arm slipped 1% to $11.63 billion.

GE also announced plans to retire the preferred stock that was issued to Berkshire Hathaway in October 2011.

Shares of GE traded higher in the wake of the results, rising 1.62% to $19.47 ahead of Friday's open. 

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