General Electric reported stronger-than-expected earnings Friday, boosted by sales of jet engines and oil and gas equipment in its growing industrial segment.
The U.S.-based conglomerate said its third-quarter income rose to $3.54 billion, or 35 cents per share, from $3.19 billion, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, earnings came in at 38 cents per share compared with 36 cents per share a year ago.
Revenue in the third quarter came to $36.2 billion vs. $35.73 billion in the same period last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings, exlcuding one-time items, of 37 cents per share on $36.79 billion in revenue.
“GE performed well in the quarter, with industrial segment profit growth of 9 percent and significant margin expansion,” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement. Industrial segment margins expanded by nearly 1 percent on revenue of $4.3 billion in the third quarter.
The company's orders surged 22 percent, to $31.4 billion, with a backlog of equipment orders at the end of the quarter hitting a record $250 billion, up $21 billion from a year earlier. New technologies drove a 31 percent increase in orders for locomotives, gas turbines and aircraft engines, the company said.
GE has been reshaping its portfolio, exiting its North American financial business, Synchrony Financial, with an initial public offering and selling its iconic appliances business to Electrolux last month for $3.3 billion. Synchrony Financial lends to retailers such as Walmart through store-branded credit cards.
GE is also working through approvals to acquire French multinational company Alstom's power and grid business next year, aiming to achieve 75 percent of its profit from its industrial business by 2016.