General Electric Reports Second-Quarter Profit Increase

July 17, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

General Electric Co. (Fairfield, CT) reported that its second-quarter earnings jumped 24 percent as profits surged across all 11 of its business units, prompting the company to tighten its full-year forecast. The company reported double-digit profit growth at each of its businesses. The company's GE Energy unit also returned a profit for the first time following more than two years of declines, but a weak third-quarter outlook came in below Wall Street targets.

For the latest quarter ended June 30, 2005, GE's net income rose to $4.65 billion, or $0.44 per share. In last year's second quarter, the company earned $3.75 billion, or $0.36 per share. Total revenue climbed 13 percent to $41.56 billion last quarter from $36.78 billion the year before. Excluding businesses GE acquired during the past year, quarterly revenue increased eight percent. The comapny's earnings were in line with the average estimate for a profit of $0.44 per share. Its revenue, however, just missed the consensus target of $41.62 billion.

The results prompted GE to tighten its 2005 earnings outlook toward the high end of its previous estimate, saying it now expects to earn between $1.80 and $1.83 per share. GE previously pegged its annual earnings at $1.78 to $1.83 per share. For the third quarter, GE projected its profit in the range of $0.43 to $0.44 per share on revenue of $41 billion to $42 billion. Last year, GE earned $0.38 per share on revenue of $38.27 billion in the third quarter, and posted a profit of $1.59 per share on $152.36 billion in revenue for 2004.