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GE’s commercial finance leads Q1 earnings boost

April 17, 2007
Filed under Features

General Electric Co.’s (GE) first-quarter net income rose 1.5 percent, helped by the infrastructure and commercial finance businesses.

The Fairfield, Conn., industrial and entertainment company’s earnings increased to $4.51 billion, or 44 cents a share, from $4.44 billion, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 5.7 percent to $40.2 billion, from $38.03 billion a year earlier.

“It was a solid first quarter despite a few headwinds,” said GE chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt, according to a news release.

For the first quarter, GE’s commercial finance business rose 15 percent to $6.28 billion. Sales at GE Money rose 14 percent to $5.81 billion.

Immelt has cited “challenges” in GE’s U.S. mortgage business as one factor that affected results for the latest quarter.

Delinquencies at GE Money rose to 5.48 percent from 5.14 percent a year ago, with nearly all of that increase from its WMC subprime-mortgage business.

“We are not seeing any change in the credit quality of the portfolio globally from a delinquency perspective,” said Keith Sherin, GEs chief financial officer in a news release.

For the second quarter, GE expects earnings from continuing operations of 52 cents to 54 cents a share. Analysts are looking for 53 cents a share.

The company also reiterated its earnings from continuing operations forecast of $2.18 to $2.23 a share for the year. Analysts forecast $2.22 a share.

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