Debt reduction, lower leverage and stronger results in at least some of its core business segments all helped boost General Electric's (GE) - Get Free Report third-quarter earnings -- and also allowed the company to lift its closely watched industrial free cash flow forecast, all suggesting it remains on the path to financial redemption.
The sale of its remaining stake in Wabtec, which brought in $1.6 billion in cash, as well as the sale of part of its stake in Baker Hughes, which resulted in another $3 billion of cash, helped the company reduce debt and continue to focus on streamlining its operations, CEO Larry Culp said.
The company announced or completed some $9 billion in "total industrial deleveraging actions" during the quarter. It also reduced external debt at GE Capital by $1 billion. That helped to, in part, offset losses in its aviation unit, where general and equipment orders fell thanks to Boeing's (BA) - Get Free Report ongoing grounding of its 737 MAX jet, which uses GE engines.
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