General Electric Co. (GE) reported better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter, sending its shares up more than 3 percent on Friday. Strong profit from aviation, healthcare and transportation divisions balanced the weak earnings from oil-and-gas and power businesses.
The company affirmed its earnings outlook for the current fiscal year.
Overall, the Massachusetts-based company reported adjusted earnings of 16 cents per share in the quarter ended March 31, well above 11 cents per share estimated by analysts.
The quarterly results caught many by surprise, as analysts had expected the company’s profit to fall in the first quarter. However, double-digit profit growth from its aviation, healthcare and transportation units boosted overall results.
Sales at GE’s power business declined 9 percent in the quarter, while profit from the unit plummeted 38 percent. The company said it continue to face challenge in the power industry. Comparatively, earnings at GE’s oil and gas unit decreased 30 percent, exclusive of restructuring and other charges.
Profit from continuing operations jumped more than 3 folds to $369 million, or 4 cents per share in the first quarter, as compared to just $122 million or 1 cent per share in the comparable quarter, one year ago.
Revenue for the quarter came in at $28.7 billion, up 6.6 percent from the same period last year.
GE’s chief executive John Flannery said the results mark a step forward in the company’s plan to turn itself around by limiting expenses and improving the manufacturing operations. Industrial earnings, margins and free cash flow all improved on year over year basis, he added.
Looking forward, the company expects adjusted profit in a range of $1 per share to $1.07 per share for the full year. The aforesaid outlook doesn’t include restructuring costs. GE expects adjusted industrial free cash flow in between $6 billion and $7 billion for 2018.