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Peacock soars for GE

NBC parent General Electric credited its broadcasting operations — which include the network, stations and cable holdings — with helping it to achieve record net earnings in the second quarter.

While GE does not break out results on a segment-by-segment basis, it noted that broadcasting reported considerably higher ongoing operating profit because of slightly higher revenues and continued lower overhead and programming costs.

Additionally, broadcasting was one of five GE operating units that chairman Jack Welch credited with producing an 18% increase in second-quarter earnings from ongoing operations.

NatWest Securities analyst Nicholas Heymann estimated that combined sales of the company’s network, TV station and cable operations were up somewhere between 0% and 5% and that operating earnings were up 10% to 15%. He credited the strong ratings performance on the network of the final season of “Cheers,” its made-for-TV movies and the NBA Finals for the gains.

“Overall, they (the broadcasting ops) seem to be pretty well on track to post $ 250 in operating earnings this year,” Heymann said. “The network isn’t exactly going gangbusters, but we won’t see the kind of losses we saw last year.” Heymann added that CNBC — its business cable channel — was doing well and that its broadcast stations were “hanging in.”

GE’s net earnings for the second quarter of 1993 were $ 1.334 billion, up 10% from $ 1.216 billion in the second quarter of 1992. Earnings per share were $ 1. 56, up 10% from $ 1.42 in last year’s second quarter. Consolidated revenues were $ 14.8 billion in 1993’s second quarter, an increase of 4% from the prior year’s $ 14.2 billion.

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