Updated from 1:07 p.m. EDT
topped Wall Street estimates by a penny Thursday as demand for its energy generators and product servicing grew.
The Fairfield, Conn.-based corporation posted earnings of $3.378 billion, up 20% from $2.820 billion in the second quarter last year. Earnings per share for the second quarter increased 21% to 34 cents from last year's 28 cents. Wall Street analysts' consensus forecast was 33 cents a share, according to
First Call/Thomson Financial
Revenue for the quarter rose to $32.9 billion, 20% higher than $27.4 billion in the same quarter last year.
During the quarter, GE purchased $523 million of its stock to reach $16.5 billion, or 934 million shares, toward the $22 billion goal of its stock repurchase program, begun December 1994.
GE finished down 1 3/8, or 2.6%, at 52 3/8.
GE stocks rallied yesterday on news that both GE and
Yasuda Mutual Life,
, New York brokerage firm PaineWebber's two largest shareholders, had agreed to
sell their combined 30% stake to Swiss investment bank
in its bid to acquire PaineWebber. GE expects a $2.3 billion windfall from the transaction.
GE's variety of businesses, which range from
and its new electronic washers to
with Jay Leno, helped it to report higher earnings, said
J.J.B. Hilliard W.L. Lyons
analyst Steve O'Neil. O'Neil has a long-term buy rating on GE, and his firm has done no underwriting for GE.
GE Power Systems
, anticipated summertime swelter drove orders for power generators up 80%, and shipments of heavy-duty gas turbines more than doubled to 60. Demand for another type of gas turbine tripled, and GE Power Systems completed more installations and preventative maintenance orders during the quarter than it did any prior quarter.
Power Systems also secured long-term service agreements worth $913 million, bringing the total value of multiyear contracts to $11 billion.
GE Aircraft Engines
sold the majority of airline jet engines worldwide, and orders for a handful of
products and services grew by double digits.
Meanwhile, variety spurred second-quarter earnings at
GE Capital Services,
whose segments in specialized financing, consumer services and midmarket financing each showed double-digit increases.
Revenue for GE's industrial businesses likewise grew by double-digits, led by Power Systems, Medical, Aircraft Engines and NBC.
GE entered a slew of strategic alliances during the quarter. It will underwrite and distribute long-term care insurance with
offer full-service and online banking with
GE Cisco Industrial Networks
to design and build network infrastructures for manufacturing plants, cited in a statement as a potential $3 billion market by the year 2003.