BOSTON - April 30, 2019 - GE (NYSE:GE) announced results today for the first quarter ending March 31, 2019.
GE Chairman and CEO H. Lawrence Culp, Jr. said, “We saw progress in the first quarter as we continued to execute on our priorities to improve our financial position and strengthen our businesses. We announced the sale of BioPharma, closed the Wabtec merger, settled WMC, and improved our operating performance. We delivered strong industrial orders in the quarter, up 9 percent organically, with backlog closing at $374 billion, up 6 percent year over year. Our quarterly results were better than our expectations, largely driven by timing of certain items, which should balance out over the course of the year. Therefore, we expect our performance for the year to be in line with our previous commentary.”
During the first quarter, GE continued to take action to improve its financial position and strengthen its businesses. The Company announced the sale of BioPharma to Danaher for more than $20 billion in cash proceeds, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, and closed the merger of GE Transportation with Wabtec, resulting in $2.9 billion of cash proceeds and a 24.9% ownership stake in Wabtec. GE Capital completed $1.1 billion of asset reductions and paid down $2 billion of external debt. GE also recently reached final agreement with the United States Department of Justice to settle the FIRREA investigation of WMC for $1.5 billion, as previously reserved and disclosed.
Culp concluded, “I am encouraged by the improvements we are making inside GE. This is one quarter in what will be a multi-year transformation, and 2019 remains a reset year for us. We continue to focus on reducing leverage and improving the underlying performance of our businesses to create sustainable, long-term value for our customers, employees, and shareholders.”
Caution Concerning Forward Looking Statements:
This document contains "forward-looking statements" - that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance and financial condition, and often contain words such as "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "see," "will," "would," “estimate,” “forecast,” "target," “preliminary,” or “range.”
Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, such as statements about our expected financial performance; the planned sale of our BioPharma business within our Healthcare segment and plans to exit our equity ownership positions in Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) and Wabtec Corporation (Wabtec), and the expected benefits to GE; our strategy and plans for the remaining portion of our Healthcare business, and the characteristics of that business in the future; capital allocation plans; GE’s and GE Capital’s capital structure, liquidity and access to funding; our de-leveraging plans, including leverage ratios and targets, the timing and nature of specific actions to reduce indebtedness, credit ratings and credit outlooks; divestiture proceeds expectations; future charges and capital contributions that may be required in connection with GE Capital’s run-off insurance operations or other GE Capital portfolio actions; revenues; organic growth; cash flows and cash conversion, including the impact of working capital, contract assets, pension funding contributions and other factors, as well as the timing of cash flows; earnings per share; future business growth and productivity gains; profit margins; the benefits of restructuring and other transformational internal actions; our businesses’ cost structures and plans to reduce costs; restructuring, goodwill impairment or other financial charges; tax rates; or returns on capital and investment.
For us, particular uncertainties that could cause our actual results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements include:
- our success in executing and completing, including obtaining regulatory approvals and satisfying other closing conditions for, announced GE Industrial and GE Capital business or asset dispositions or other transactions, including the planned sale of our BioPharma business within our Healthcare segment and plans to exit our equity ownership positions in BHGE and Wabtec, the timing of closing for those transactions and the expected proceeds and benefits to GE;
- our strategy and plans for the remaining portion of GE Healthcare, including the structure, form, timing and nature of potential actions with respect to that business in the future and the characteristics of the business going forward;
- our capital allocation plans, as such plans may change including with respect to de-leveraging actions, the timing and amount of GE dividends, organic investments, and other priorities;
- further downgrades of our current short- and long-term credit ratings or ratings outlooks, or changes in rating application or methodology, and the related impact on our liquidity, funding profile, costs and competitive position;
- GE’s liquidity and the amount and timing of our GE Industrial cash flows and earnings, which may be impacted by customer, competitive, contractual and other dynamics and conditions;
- GE Capital's capital and liquidity needs, including in connection with GE Capital’s run-off insurance operations, the amount and timing of required capital contributions, strategic actions that we may pursue, WMC-related claims, liabilities and payments, the impact of conditions in the financial and credit markets on GE Capital's ability to sell financial assets, GE Capital’s leverage and credit ratings, the availability and cost of GE Capital funding and GE Capital's exposure to counterparties;
- customer actions or market developments such as secular and cyclical pressures in our Power business, pricing and other pressures in the renewable energy market, other shifts in the competitive landscape for our products and services, changes in economic conditions, including oil prices, early aircraft retirements, aircraft fleeting groundings and other factors that may affect the level of demand and financial performance of the major industries and customers we serve;
- operational execution by our businesses, including our ability to improve the operations and execution of our Power business, and the continued strength of our Aviation business;
- changes in law, economic and financial conditions, including the effect of enactment of U.S. tax reform or other tax law changes, trade policy and tariffs, interest and exchange rate volatility, commodity and equity prices and the value of financial assets;
- our decisions about investments in new products, services and platforms, and our ability to launch new products in a cost-effective manner;
- our ability to increase margins through implementation of operational changes, restructuring and other cost reduction measures;
- the impact of regulation and regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks, including the impact of WMC, Alstom, SEC and other investigative and legal proceedings;
- our success in integrating acquired businesses and operating joint ventures, and our ability to realize revenue and cost synergies from announced transactions, acquired businesses and joint ventures;
- the impact of potential product failures and related reputational effects;
- the impact of potential information technology, cybersecurity or data security breaches;
- the other factors that are described in "Forward-Looking Statements" in BHGE’s most recent earnings release or SEC filings; and
- the other factors that are described in "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, as updated in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
These or other uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.
Our public communications and SEC filings may include certain forward-looking projected financial information that is based on current estimates and forecasts. Actual results could differ materially.
General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC) has been merged into GE and our financial services business is now operated by GE Capital Global Holdings, LLC (GECGH). In our public communications and SEC filings, we refer to GECC and GECGH as “GE Capital”. We refer to the industrial businesses of the Company including GE Capital on an equity basis as “GE”. “GE (ex-GE Capital)” and /or “Industrial” refer to GE excluding GE Capital. Our financial services segment previously referred to as GE Capital is now referred to as Capital.
GE’s Investor Relations website at www.ge.com/investor and our corporate blog at www.gereports.com, as well as GE’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts, contain a significant amount of information about GE, including financial and other information for investors. GE encourages investors to visit these websites from time to time, as information is updated and new information is posted.
Supplemental Financial Information
Supplemental financial information can be found on the Company’s website at: ge.com/investor under Events and Reports.
Conference Call and Webcast
GE will discuss its results during its investor conference call today starting at 8:30 a.m. ET. The conference call will be broadcast live via webcast, and the webcast and accompanying slide presentation containing financial information can be accessed by visiting the Events and Reports page on GE’s website at: www.ge.com/investor. An archived version of the webcast will be available on the website after the call.
GE (NYSE:GE) drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges. By combining world-class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for our customers. www.ge.com
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