GE lowers profit guidance, suspends stock buybacks

Discussion in 'Stocks' started by Robert Weinstein, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Lucky for those GE stock holders the shorts will keep a floor in the stock as it wants to move down from the selling pressure.

    oh wait....thats right i forgot. the public cant short GE now so they are not around to buy back today.

    On a happy note the specialist IS allowed to short it along with his drinking buddies at the option exchange. Must be nice to be given a money printing press.

    Ok off the soap box, here is the news....

    GE lowers profit guidance, suspends stock buybacks
    Thursday September 25, 7:58 am ET
    General Electric lowers 3Q profit guidance, suspends stock buybacks on financial market woes

    FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) -- General Electric Co. lowered its earnings guidance for the third quarter and the full year on Thursday and suspended its stock buyback plan, saying "unprecedented" weakness and volatility in the financial services markets has weighed on its GE Capital segment.


    Shares of the Wall Street bellwether that makes everything from lightbulbs and healthcare technologies to loans and owns the NBC television network sank $1.26, or 5.1 percent, to $24.59 in premarket trading.

    The company reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining a 'AAA' credit rating, and outlined steps to bolster its capital and liquidity position -- including restructuring GE to boost the ratio of industrial earnings to financial profits to 60 percent-40 percent by the end of 2009. Its statement didn't say what the ratio is now.

    GE's board also approved maintaining a 31 cent quarterly dividend, which amounts to $1.24 per share annually, through next year.

    The announcements come as congressional leaders are debating a massive $700 billion rescue plan for the financial markets. President Bush said passage of a plan is urgently needed, and told a national TV audience on Wednesday night that "Our entire economy is in danger."

    GE said it expects to report third-quarter profit of 43 cents to 48 cents per share -- down from prior guidance of 50 cents to 54 cents per share. For the full year, profit is now forecast between $1.95 and $2.10 per share, instead of $2.20 to $2.30 per share.

    On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial have forecast quarterly earnings of 52 cents per share and full-year profit of $2.21 per share.

    GE said it now expects its financial services businesses will earn about $2 billion in the third quarter, hurt by current market conditions. It said it expects industrial earnings strength, led by strong performance in its infrastructure and media businesses.

    In the second quarter, the GE Money and Commercial Finance segments made a combined profit of $2.45 billion. GE's financial services offerings include commercial loans, fleet management, financial programs, home loans, insurance, credit cards and personal loans, among other products.

    In a move to trim debt ratios, the Fairfield, Conn.-based company said it will boost capital in its GE Capital division by reducing the 40 percent dividend GE Capital pays GE on its earnings to 10 percent, and by suspending GE's current stock repurchase program.

    GE Capital does not need to raise any additional long-term debt for the remainder of 2008, the company asserted, but said it will reduce GE Capital's commercial paper to between 10 percent and 15 percent of the financial services unit's total debt going forward.

    "Given the recent dramatic developments in the financial markets, we have made some tough decisions to further reduce risk and strengthen our balance sheet while maintaining our dividend," said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement.
  2. On Wednesday, I heard someone on CNBC say that GE was a buy here.

    He said something like if GE was not a buy here, we were in bigger trouble than anyone thinks.
  3. bit


    I saw that also. Typical fear mongering. The sheeple must be shorn (for at least $700B).
  4. Get ready for the break-up & divestiture rumors to start circulating as a way to pump up the stock price. :cool: