Home » General Electric’s (GE) CEO Jeffrey Immelt on Q3 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

General Electric’s (GE) CEO Jeffrey Immelt on Q3 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

We had a service backlog true-up in aviation driven by finalization of terms with CFM for LEAP, which reduced the total by $2 billion, nonetheless were at record high. Strong orders positioned GE for sustained growth in the fourth quarter and beyond.

Segment profits grew by 9% with six of seven segments expanding. Year-to-date segment profit is up 10% driven by 5% organic revenue growth and 50 basis points of margin expansion.

Organic growth was up 4% in the quarter and 5% year-to-date, aviation and transportation remained very strong with equipment growth of more than 10%. Oil and gas organic growth was up 10%.

We saw a strong US environment in healthcare and power and water had sub-comps in the third quarter, while we have a very strong fourth quarter shipments versus last year. And for the year, our industrial organic growth should be at the high end of our framework.

We had another strong quarter on margins of 16.3% up 90 basis points. Big drivers continue to be value gap productivity and simplification and we expect this to continue. Year-to-date margins are up 50 basis points and service margins have grown by 170 basis points year-to-date.

With service orders growing by 10% and strong margin expansion, we are seeing some of the early signs that our investment has started paying off.

We remain on track to growing industrial segment profits by 10% at least this year. We’ve generated $7.2 billion of CFOA year-to-date and are on track for $14 billion to $17 billion for the year. For the quarter, we grew CFOA by 41%.

GE Capital dividends are on track for $3 billion in the year. We will generate substantial CFOA in the fourth quarter driven by much higher industrial earnings and stronger shipments than last year.

We continue to have strong liquidity and balance sheet strength, GE Capital Tier-1 ratio was 12.1%, up 80 basis points and we are targeting buyback and dividends of more than $11 billion for the year.

In addition, we expect the Synchrony split to take GE shares below $9.5 billion by the end of 2015. Our capital allocation continues to be disciplined and balanced.

Now let me turn you over to Kieran Murphy who is the leader of our Global Life Sciences business. This is a strong GE franchise with expanding organic growth, margins and cash flow. Kieran joined GE in 2008 and has 25 years of experience in the life sciences industry.

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Kieran Murphy – Vice President, GE Healthcare Life Sciences

Thanks, Jeff. Good morning and thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell you more about life sciences, a $3.7 billion business within GE Healthcare. The healthcare industry is moving towards a more precise diagnosis with more precise treatment to address an annual waste of $350 billion since most around 90% of currently marketed drugs, only work for about 40% of people.

Precision medicine would improve patient outcomes and reduced healthcare costs and this is driving the demand for biologics as opposed to chemical medicines improving efficacy, and reducing side-effects.

We are in a central component of drug manufacture for this industry. Our presence in life sciences extends from the research lab where we helped in the discovery of new medicines to the manufacturing plants where we deliver capacity and productivity.

And then, all the way to supporting clinicians who use our diagnostic agents to make refined diagnosis for tens of millions of patients around the world every year. The expansion of biological medicines for the treatment of diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases drives demand for GE products and services which are embedded in biopharmaceutical dugs.

Today, these drugs make up six of the top ten revenue generating medicines. Also, in the emerging markets, particularly China, there is a growing market need for generic bio-drugs called bio-similars. This has the potential to be a significant growth opportunity over the next five to ten years.

And the next evolution of medicines regenerative medicine, which is based on regenerating cells, tissues and organs in the body is an area where GE is investing for the future. All of this adds up to a market growing at around 8% per year.

We have a broad portfolio of products which has driven into two main areas, bioprocessing and research serving academics and pharmaceutical customers and diagnostics, aimed primarily at clinicians.

For biopharma manufacturing, we have a leading global franchise built on a portfolio of products we acquired with the Amersham acquisition in 2004 and we’ve continued to build value through successful R&D investments and a series of strategic deals resulting in a comprehensive offering that enables start to finish solutions for production.

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This start to finish solution creates productivity opportunities for our customers and I’ll return to that later.

Our Research & Applied Markets business has a series of strong brands for protein characterization, purification and analysis, critical to the discovery of these new medicines, once selected, these consumables remain embedded in the scale of drug all the way to an FDA approved manufacturing process.

Within the Diagnostics business, we are the global leader in contrast agents used across the spectrum of diagnostic imaging, including X-ray, MRI and nuclear medicines. We supply customers through a global network of large-scale low-cost manufacturing facilities.

With novel in vitro technologies developed at the GERC we have expanded our service offering to allow researchers to better understand the underlying biology of diseases, which of course in turn reaches the development of the new precision medicines which we then help to manufacture.

And that brings me on to how critical we are to the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Over the past six years, biological medicine sales have grown a 10% per annum to $170 billion, due primarily to the expansion of molecular antibody for the treatment of cancer and increasing demand for products like insulin. Our hardware and consumables are embedded in the FDA approved manufacturing process of these products.

This manufacture of biologics is completely different to the industrial process for making traditional chemical-based medicine. It requires cells to grow, to produce specific protein, which are then extracted and purified. This is an $8 billion market where have got the leading position, all starting from the pharmacy chromatography platform which was part of Amersham.

We continue to build on this products and service platform organically as well as through deals, moving upstream with a series of acquisitions such as WAVE and Xcellerex, which added fomenters and disposable technologies to the portfolio and recently, HyClone Cell Media, part of the $1 billion acquisition from Thermo Fisher. This creates the start to finish solution I referred to earlier.

We enjoyed close strategic partnerships with the leading pharmaceutical companies who depend on us for reliable, high quality supply. The move to biological medicines that has driven double-digit growth over the past few years will continue as expansion in Asia creates new demand for manufacturing capacity.

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