GE Sees ‘Double Digit’ 2013 Profit Growth for Industrial Units

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. forecast profit from its industrial segments will increase by “double digit” percentages next year, while growth slows at the GE Capital Corp. unit.

Total revenue will be little changed to a 5 percent increase for 2013, GE told investors and analysts at a presentation today in New York. Industrial sales excluding acquisitions are expected to grow by 2 percent to 6 percent, versus a 2012 outlook of about 8 percent, the company said.

Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt is seeking to expand profit margins at the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company’s industrial units while shrinking its financial operations. GE said today that the industrial units will increase to 65 percent of earnings in 2015 from about 55 percent now, as GE Capital trims assets and speeds up cash transfers to the parent.

Immelt has focused on units that make jet engines, medical scanners and diesel locomotives after the finance unit suffered $32 billion of credit losses and received capital infusions from its parent during the financial crisis.

GE rose 1.4 percent to $21.93 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 22 percent this year.

The company forecast that industrial profit margins will expand by about 0.7 percentage point next year. GE also said it plans to return about $12 billion to shareholders in 2013.

Adjusted earnings at GE may climb to $1.69 a share next year, from $1.51 this year, based on the averages of 16 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

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