General Electric posts earnings of 52 cents a share vs 49 cents estimate

General Electric reports mixed earnings
General Electric reports mixed earnings   

General Electric reported that industrial profits fell 8 percent in the fourth quarter, hurt by weakness in divisions catering to the oil and gas industries.

Industrial segment operating profit fell to $5.52 billion from $5.99 billion a year earlier.

Total profit jumped 22 percent to $6.28 billion, or 64 cents per share, from $5.15 billion, or 51 cents per share. Total revenue rose 1.4 percent to $33.89 billion.

Adjusted earnings of 52 cents a share beat the average analyst estimates of 49 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares fell 1.7 percent to $28.10 in premarket trading. (Get the latest quote here.)

Revenue for the quarter came in at $33.9 billion, against the comparable year-ago figure of $42 billion.

Analysts had expected GE to report earnings of about 49 cents per share on $35.92 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The results showed the impact of falling energy prices on GE's large oil and gas business. Total industrial revenue fell 1 percent in the quarter, pulled down by a 16 percent drop in oil and gas revenue. That was offset by 5 percent growth in aviation revenue and a 20 percent rise in energy management revenue, GE said.

The results also were colored by a host of one-time factors including closing the purchase of Alstom SA's power business, separating GE's renewable energy business from the power segment, a break-up fee for the failed sale of its appliance business to Electrolux AB and other restructuring costs, GE said.

GE announced several weeks ago that it will move its global headquarters to Boston and sell its offices in Fairfield, Connecticut, and Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The decision caps a search that began last summer as Connecticut lawmakers passed a budget that increased taxes by $1.2 billion over two years, drawing protests from some of the state's biggest corporations.

GE is restructuring to emphasize its digital and industrial capabilities, making a move to a high-tech intellectual center such as Boston attractive.

Last June, GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in an email to employees that he asked a team to examine the company's options to relocate the headquarters to a state with a "more pro-business environment."

GE has also said it would cut up to 6,500 jobs in Europe over the next two years, including 765 in France and 1,300 in Switzerland, as it restructures and integrates its acquisition of Alstom's energy business.

— Reuters contributed to this report.