The last thing General Electric (GE) needs are for global trade tensions to get even more heated.
But for the time being, it's business as usual for an industrial icon undergoing a major overhaul. "I think the world is pretty dynamic all the time, and the trade and tariff discussions are one element that certainly we are watching," General Electric Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller told TheStreet. "With respect to trade, we are in a bit of wait and see mode there -- we are monitoring what's happening."
On a conference call with analysts Friday, GE CEO John Flannery said the gross impact of the brewing trade war with China and the EU would be a gross $300 million to $400 million. GE's estimate, explained Miller, comes before the company would decide to take mitigating actions such as cost cuts or shifts in sourcing.
A global trade war -- and the higher costs of doing business it brings -- arrives as GE is feeling pressure in its core power business and moves to spin off healthcare.
The Boston-based industrial conglomerate reported net earnings of 7 cents a share, a 30% decline year over year. Adjusted earnings of 19 cents a share beat estimates by a penny, according to FactSet. Revenue of $30.1 billion also surpassed analysts' expectations of $29.4 billion.
Shares of GE fell 4.5% to $13.12 on the session. The stock had been up by as much as 2.8% before the opening bell.
"We would call this a solid yet boring quarter from GE - but given the number of blow-ups seen over the past year, boring is a welcome outcome," Deutsche Bank analyst Nicole DeBlase wrote in a July 20 research note.
Chief Executive Officer John Flannery said the company "saw continued strength across many of our segments, especially in Aviation and Healthcare." But Flannery cautioned that the power market is expected to "remain challenging."