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GE Profits Tumble 22 Percent; 'Challenging' Q3 for Healthcare Business

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – General Electric today posted a 22 percent decline in profit, attributable primarily to difficulties in its Capital Finance segment and Consumer and Industrial segment. The firm’s GE Healthcare unit, which is now part of the Technology Infrastructure segment, posted an 8 percent decline in Q3 profit.
 
The Fairfield, Conn.-based diversified industrial products and media giant brought in total revenues of $47.2 billion, an 11 percent increase over revenues of $42.5 billion in the third quarter of 2007.
 
The Technology Infrastructure unit generated revenues of $11.5 billion, up 9 percent from $10.5 billion a year ago. GE Healthcare contributed $4.2 billion in revenues during the quarter, an increase of 3 percent over revenues of $4.1 billion for the third quarter of 2007.
 
The Technology Infrastructure segment posted a profit of $1.9 billion, a 2 percent increase over a profit of $1.87 billion the year before. GE Healthcare, however, was a drag on that profit as its profit dropped 8 percent to $634 million from $692 million.
 
GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement that it was “a challenging quarter at Healthcare.” He did not elaborate.
 
In July, GE streamlined its unit structure down from six units to four, and in the process folded the GE Healthcare business in with Aviation, Transportation, and Enterprise Solutions as components of the Technology Infrastructure segment.
 
While GE’s third-quarter revenues increased 11 percent, its profit declined 22 percent to $4.3 billion, or $.43 per share, compared with $5.6 billion, or $.54 per share, a year earlier. Profits for its Capital Finance segment dropped 33 percent and profits for its Consumer and Industrial Segment tumbled 82 percent. That decline was somewhat offset by a strong quarter for its Energy Infrastructure segment, which reported revenue growth of 32 percent and profit growth of 31 percent.
 
GE finished the quarter with $59.8 billion in cash and marketable securities.
 
In a bid to improve its liquidity, GE recently raised $12 billion in a common stock offering and cut a deal to sell $3 billion of preferred shares to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
 

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