GE Healthcare sees challenging Q3

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Despite Healthcare segment decline, Technology Infrastructure posts profit in third quarter.  

GE reported a 22 percent decline in profit overall, and its Healthcare unit, now a part of the Technology Infrastructure segment, posted an 8 percent decline in profit for the company’s 2008 third quarter financial results.

For the quarter, GE brought in total revenues of $47.2 billion, an 11 percent increase from $42.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. Net earnings, however, were $4.3 billion, reflecting a 22 percent decline from $5.6 billion last year.

On Sept. 25, the company revised its third-quarter and full-year 2008 guidance to reflect “the current volatile environment.” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said that the earnings are “fully in line with guidance, and we have continued to take decisive steps to strengthen GE in a tough environment.”

The Technology Infrastructure segment posted a profit of $1.9 billion for the 2008 third quarter, compared to $1.8 billion in the same quarter last year. GE Healthcare, however, saw profit decline from $692 million to $634 million in the third quarter, which Immelt said reflected a “challenging quarter” for the segment. For the third quarter, the Healthcare unit also booked revenues of $4.2 billion, compared to $ 4.1 billion in the third quarter of 2007.

In July, GE streamlined its unit structure down from six units to four, and in the process folded the GE Healthcare business in with Aviation, Transportation, and Enterprise Solutions as components of the Technology Infrastructure segment.

The company finished the quarter with $59.8 billion in cash and marketable securities.
“GE has taken proactive steps to reduce leverage and improve liquidity. We have raised $15 billion of committed capital that makes the company more secure in the short term, but could be used to play offense in the long term,” Immelt concluded.