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Updated from 6:56 a.m.

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company (GE) Report

Thursday revised its earnings guidance for the third quarter to a range of 43 cents to 48 cents a share from prior guidance of 50 cents to 54 cents a share, because of "unprecedented weakness and volatility in the financial services markets."

Saying it anticipates that difficult conditions in the financial services markets are likely to continue in the near future, the industrial conglomerate also revised earnings guidance for the year to $19.5 billion to $21 billion, or $1.95 to $2.10 a share, from previous earnings guidance of $22 billion to $23 billion, or $2.20 to $2.30 a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect GE to earn 52 cents a share in the third quarter and $2.21 a share for the year.

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GE said it now expects that its financial services businesses will earn about $2 billion in the third quarter. Industrial earnings are expected to continue to be strong in the quarter, led by strong performance in the infrastructure and media businesses.

The company, reaffirming its longstanding commitment to its Triple-A credit rating, also said it's taking steps to strengthen its "already strong capital and liquidity position."

GE said it plans to boost capital in its GE Capital division to reduce leverage ratios by reducing the GE Capital dividend to GE to 10% from 40% of GE Capital's earnings.

GE also suspended its stock buyback.

The company also said it plans to reduce GE Capital's commercial paper to 10% to 15% of GE Capital's total debt.

GE said it will maintain its quarterly dividend of 31 cents a share through the end of 2009.

Standard & Poor's, meanwhile, affirmed its AAA long-term and A-1+ short-term corporate-credit ratings on GE and its GE Capital subsidiary. The outlook on GE and GE Capital is stable, S&P said.