GE Reports Q3 Profit Drop

Oct 13, 2003  •  Post A Comment

NBC parent General Electric on Friday reported an 11 percent drop in third-quarter profit, as mounting raw materials costs and slower sales at its plastics division more than offset strong results at the broadcast network and its insurance business, GE Insurance. At the same time, GE lowered its fourth-quarter and full-year outlook.
The Fairfield, Conn.-based conglomerate reported a third-quarter profit of $3.65 billion, or 36 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $4.09 billion, or 41 cents a share. Revenue during the period rose by 2 percent to $33.4 billion.
The earnings report came on the heels of GE’s announcement Wednesday that it was merging NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment in a $14 billion all-stock deal that will create a media giant with television, film and cable assets. The company also announced Friday that its medical systems unit was buying British medical company Amersham for $9.5 billion in stock.
Company officials said eight of its 13 businesses reported revenue growth in the quarter, with NBC coming in as one of the stronger performers behind GE’s consumer finance and specialty materials units.
For the period, NBC generated a 31 percent increase in profit to $431 million and an 11 percent jump in revenue to $1.5 billion. The company noted that in the 2002 quarter, NBC took charges related to its broadcast of NASCAR events and for its acquisition of the cable channel Bravo.
Meanwhile, GE trimmed its fourth-quarter per-share earnings projection to between 45 cents and 47 cents from previous guidance of 46 cents to 49 cents, while full-year guidance was lowered to $1.55 to $1.57 from earlier estimates of $1.55 to $1.61.