GE shines in ’92 with web’s help

NBC parent General Electric reported a 7% increase in earnings for 1992 to $ 4.725 billion ($ 5.51 per share) from $ 4.435 billion ($ 5.10 per share) in 1991.

In a release, the company said the performance of its network and affiliates improved during 1992, though no segment financials are broken out. It said though broadcasting revenues were boosted by the Summer Olympics, it didn’t recoup much in profits.

Overall, the company reported that revenues for the full year were up a slight 3% to $ 62.2 billion from $ 60.2 billion last year. For the 1992 fourth quarter, earnings were up 6% to $ 1.341 billion ($ 1.57) vs. $ 1.263 billion ($ 1.46) for the similar period a year ago. Fourth-quarter revenues were only up slightly to $ 17.8 billion, compared with $ 17.6 billion in the year-ago period.

GE topper John Welch noted in the release that double-digit earnings increases at GE Financial Services, Power Systems and Medical Systems lead the company’s financial performance.”We enter 1993 better-positioned than ever before, with a strong balance sheet, very strong cash flows and excellent prospects for earnings growth,” he said.

Wall Street, however, was far from impressed. GE shares closed off $ 1.50 to $ 82.63, with 1.5 million shares trading in a slightly down market.

The company reported GE Financial Services had earnings of $ 1.499 billion for the year, an 18% increase over last year’s $ 1.275 billion. It also noted that Kidder Peabody, its investment banking arm which has been rumored to be for sale, “achieved sharply improved 1992 results, principally from fixed income and investment banking activities.”

However, operating profit at its appliance division was reported as “moderately lower on slightly higher revenues.” The company attributed cost increases and industry pricing pressures as the factors that offset productivity gains.

Its aircraft engines revenues and operating profit were also down, reflecting both declining military engine shipments, and, for the commercial business, weakness in spare parts sales as airlines continue to consolidate inventories.

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