General Electric (NYSE: GE) reported its third quarter financial results before the opening bell on Wednesday. The conglomerate reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue which sent shares higher by 10% during early morning trading sessions.
For the quarter, GE reported earnings of USD 0.15 per share on revenue of USD 23.36 Billion. Refinitiv analysts anticipated earnings of USD 0.11 per share on revenue of USD 22.93 Billion.
Despite GE’s third quarter performance, the Company still reported net earnings per share loss of USD 1.08. Nonetheless, on a GAAP-basis, GE’s earnings improved by 59% compared to the same quarter a year ago, while revenue remained flat.
In efforts to improve its financial position as well as strengthen its core business, GE began to sell assets to reduce its debt. During the quarter, GE sold the remainder of its common shares in Wabtec, which resulted in USD 1.6 Billion of net cash proceeds. Additionally, the Company also sold part of its stake in Baker Hughes, which resulted in USD 3 Billion of net cash proceeds.
GE also completed more than USD 9 Billion of total industrial deleveraging actions, including completing a USD 5 Billion debt tender, repaying a portion of the intercompany loans from GE Capital, and announcing multiple changes related to U.S. pension benefits that GE expects will reduce its industrial net debt by USD 4 to USD 6 Billion through 2020.
The Company’s better-than-expected quarter was primarily led by its Renewable Energy and Aviation segments, however was offset by the decline in its Power unit. GE Renewable Energy reported revenues of USD 4.42 Billion, representing a 13% growth year-over-year, while its Aviation segment reported revenues of USD 8.1 Billion, increasing by 8% year-over-year.
GE’s Power segment reported revenues of USD 3.92 Billion, decreasing by 14% year-over-year. The sharp revenue drop was predominantly due to a 30% decline in orders for the segment.
“Our results reflect another quarter of progress in the transformation of GE. We are encouraged by our strong backlog, organic growth, margin expansion, and positive cash trajectory amidst global macro uncertainty. We are raising our Industrial free cash flow outlook again even with external headwinds from the 737 MAX and tariffs, and we are holding our adjusted EPS outlook despite reduced income from moving Baker Hughes to discontinued operations,” said GE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer H. Lawrence Culp, Jr.
GE revised its 2019 outlook and now expects more industrial free cash flow for the year. The Company is now expecting free cash flow in the range between 0 to USD 2 Billion. GE noted it expects industrial free cash flow to be in positive territory in 2020 with further acceleration in 2021.
Additionally, GE is forecasting adjusted earnings of USD 0.55 to USD 0.65 per share, while its industrial segment organic revenue is projected to grow around mid-single digits.