Friday, October 18, 2013

Locomotive backlog cited in GE 3Q earnings

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A strong backlog of manufactured goods orders, including locomotives and jet engines, helped drive third-quarter earnings for Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co., which reported financial results Friday, Oct. 18, 2013.

Erie, Pa.-based subsidiary GE Transportation logged third-quarter revenue of $1.4 billion, virtually identical to its revenue in the third quarter of 2012. But GE Transportation's profit rose 15% to $306 million compared with a year ago.

Parent GE's net income for the quarter actually dropped to $3.19 billion, or 31 cents a share, from $3.49 billion, or 33 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2012. Excluding one-time items earnings of 36 cents per share exceeded Street analyst consensus estimates of 35 cents. Revenue for the quarter dropped 1.5% from a year ago to $35.7 billion, short of projections of $36 billion.

But GE said earnings increased at six of its seven industrial business units, with Power & Water the laggard, declining 10%. And the company said its long-term outlook was strong. Wall Street bought that argument in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Friday.

Transportation equipment orders rose 65%, GE said.

"Our third-quarter results were very strong in an improving global business environment," said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. "Orders grew 19% with orders growth around the world. Total segment profit grew 12%, Industrial margins grew 120 basis points in the quarter, and we are on track for planned margin expansion of 70 basis points for the year."

Earlier this month GE Transportation unveiled its RailConnect 360 Monitoring and Diagnostics (M&D) and ShipperConnect software at the second annual Minds + Machines Conference in Chicago. Late last month at Railway Interchange 2013 in Indianapolis, GE Transportation showcased new technologies in the areas of EPA Tier 4 emissions compliance, LNG fuel, and web-based asset management.