GE Profits Rise To $6.6 Billion

Company will restate results from 2001.

General Electric said Jan. 19 its fourth-quarter profit rose to $6.6 billion, and that it would restate results from 2001 to comply with accounting rules. The net profit for the October-December quarter amounted to 64 cents a share, in line with Wall Street forecasts.

The profit more than doubled from $3.16 billion in the same period a year ago, and increased 12% from continuing operations. Revenues increased 1% to $44.6 billion with activities in jet engines, medical equipment, finance and the NBC Universal media-entertainment group.

For the full year 2006, GE posted a profit increase of 11% at $20.7 billion, on revenues of $163.4 billion, an increase of 10%.

GE also said it was amending its results from 2001 to 2005 to restate "accounting for interest rate swaps used to fix certain otherwise variable interest costs in a portion of its financial services commercial paper program." The change was made after consulting with the Securities and Exchange Commission on accounting rules in connection with a previously disclosed SEC investigation relating to derivatives accounting. The company said the change resulted in a cumulative earnings reduction of $343 million, with declines in 2001 and 2002 and increases in 2003 through 2005. GE said it would have a "slightly positive effect on earnings over the next 10-plus years."

"With strong performances at infrastructure, healthcare, plastics and the financial services businesses, GE delivered double-digit growth in earnings and revenues for the quarter and the year," GE chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt said.

"NBC Universal's turnaround is advancing and Industrial had a good year in spite of continued commodity inflation and competitive challenges at plastics. We completed the disposition of advanced materials in the quarter at a favorable tax rate, which enabled us to accelerate our comprehensive restructuring efforts."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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