NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Electric Co reported a 21.6 percent rise in profit, topping estimates, boosted by strong demand outside the United States for its heavy equipment including jet engines and electric turbines.
The largest U.S. conglomerate said second-quarter profit attributable to common shareholders came to $3.69 billion, or 35 cents a share, compared with $3.03 billion or 28 cents a share, a year earlier.
GE shares rose 2 percent to $19.55 in premarket trading.
Following are reactions from industry analysts and investors:
JACK DE GAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, HARBOR ADVISORY CORP, PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE
”I actually was hoping for 35 cents or more, but there are so many moving parts. I don’t think these earnings are enough to drive (the stock) much today.
”The stock can trade at 14 times forward earnings. It’s at 11 or 12 times right now. In the next 12 months it will trade at $23 or $24 at some point. That’s 20 percent above where we are, plus a 3 percent dividend, so I think it’s a buy.
”A number of their bigger businesses tend to perform well later in the business cycle, and so where they didn’t pick up as early in the recovery the last two years, they will perform as well or better than their industry peers in the latter part of the cycle. Energy, oil and gas are now almost a third of revenue. That’s a big part of the business.
”Two businesses (within GE Energy) are really suffering -- the solar business and the wind business. Wind revenues fell by two-thirds from top to bottom and it’s really hard to maintain margins. The rest of the businesses, if you take out the renewable energies, are doing very well on margins.
“If oil keeps going up and if Congress and the president do something more on renewables, which they keep talking about but haven’t done, then margins have a long way to expand. They’re doing well to keep margins in those businesses as good as they are.”
NICK HEYMANN, ANALYST, WILLIAM BLAIR & CO, NEW YORK
”The one number that jumped out was they paid $546 million in income tax, and we’ve been thinking that on a 23 percent tax rate, something in the neighborhood of a billion is more likely. So that’s something that will jump out.
“I think that the forward-looking number that’s the most important in the release today is infrastructure orders up 24 percent...That’s the path back to the future of the company.”
PERRY ADAMS, VICE PRESIDENT AND SENIOR PORTFOLIO MANAGER, HUNTINGTON PRIVATE FINANCIAL GROUP, TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN
”Another good, consistent quarter. Orders were up 24 percent, their backlog was at $189 billion. Very strong fundamentals continue. If you look sequentially ... energy infrastructure is under some margin pressure. Transportation came in strong.
“GE’s strategy of growth in developing nations and energy and infrastructure and health care and technology is serving it well.”
ROBERT PAVLIK, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, BANYAN PARTNERS LLC, PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA
“There were big concerns about GE. People were worried that it would be weak or murky, and I‘m pleased to see it was a good number. GE should continue to help the overall markets. It’s one of the world’s major companies, and people own it across the board. A lot of institutional accounts own it, so the fact that it’s trading higher is good news for the overall market and is another sign earnings season will be strong.”
Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston, Nick Zieminski, Ryan Vlastelica and Roy Strom in New York