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

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.

We are uniquely positioned to help in this expansion or for global pharma companies wanting to localize production in new markets and for local manufacturers wanting to establish domestic production of crucial medicine.

We effectively partner to deliver factory interface solutions. Our FlexFactory and KUBio solutions can provide a complete factory in less than half the time required for traditional plants, 36 months to less than 18 and at a fraction of the costs.

Essentially, we provide a faster and more cost-effective way of creating capacity and access to the emerging markets.

Lastly, we are investing in the cells therapy or regenerative medicine space. An example of this would be the creation of cells for example robust IVDs. The bottleneck right now in this industry is to move from research of small-scale to industrial-scale production and this is an area where we can bring our bioprocessing tools and expertise to enable this revolutionary change in medicine.

It’s an emerging market where we have low revenues today, but we see it having the potential to create $1 billion in the future.

In summary, the Life Sciences business is a high margin, high quality growth business within GE. We are a trusted supplier for the pharmaceutical industry for biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing.

GE Healthcare’s deep relationships with hospitals provides greater access for sales growth and diagnostic and research products. We leverage GE’s great strength in research and analytics from the global research and our software center in San Ramon. We use the global operations and commercial teams across the world to sell into emerging markets.

This is a business where in 2014 we are delivering strong growth, especially in bioprocessing with margins expanding by 100 basis points through business integration and organizations and litigations. And we are generating in excess of $1 billion free cash flow.

Overall, the dealer turn for this business is in the low teens. This is a growing and valuable business within GE and we continue to see healthy pipeline and have great confidence in the future growth of the business. And now I would like to hand over to Jeff Bornstein.

Jeff Bornstein

Thanks, Kieran. I’ll start with the third quarter summary. We had revenues of $36.2 billion, up 1% from the third quarter of 2013. Industrial sales of $26 billion were up 3% and GE Capital revenues of $10.5 billion were down 1%.

Operating earnings of $3.8 billion were up 3% in the quarter. Operational earnings per share of $0.38 were up 6%, continuing EPS of $0.34 includes the impact of non-operating pension and net EPS includes the impact of discontinued operations. With a small benefit in discontinued operations this quarter associated with touring of taxes on the Grey Zone payment.

As Jeff said, CFO year-to-date was $7.2 billion, with industrial CFOA of $5 billion and received $2.2 billion of dividends from GE capital. In the quarter , industrial generated $3 billion of CFOA, up $900 million versus the third quarter of 2013. For the year, we’re on track to deliver on the $14 billion to $17 billion framework we provided.

The GE tax rate for the quarter was 18% and that brings the year-to-date rate for the industrial company to 20%. We expect the total year rate to be in the high teens. The GE Capital rate was 2% for the quarter and that was consistent with the low single-digit total year rate that we previously communicated.

On the right side, you can see the segment results. Industrial segment revenues were up 3% reported and up 4% organically. Industrial segment operating profit was up 9% and GE Capital earnings were down 22% on lower assets, the Synchrony minority interest impact and lower tax benefits.

I’ll cover the dynamics of each of the segments in the next couple of pages.. First I’ll start with other items for the quarter. We had $0.03 of restructuring other charges at corporate, $0.02 of that related to ongoing industrial researching and other items as we continue to take actions to improve the industrial cost structure.

We also added $0.01 charge related to the announced Appliances disposition. We’ve moved the business to held for sale and recognized prior service costs related to pension and retiree held for Appliances supporting these.

On a pre-tax basis, that was a $113 million of the total $435 million restructuring and other charges we incurred in the quarter. I want to give an update on industrial cost dynamics.

On the left side, you can see our research and engaged profiles, for the year, we expect to invest about $1.4 billion in restructuring and other charges with about $1.2 billion incurred through the first three quarters of the year.

We had gains to a share of about a penny from the Wayne disposition and so for the year, we are expecting restructuring net of gains to be about $0.09. We’d like to pay back and the operating leverage that we are getting from these projects.

The average payback is about a year and a half, approximately 55% of these projects relate to product and operating costs and the rest is associated with SG&A. On the right side, I’ll give you a quick update on two important costs out events. First on structural SG&A, we’ve taken out $674 million year-to-date on our way to over $1 billion for the year. As a result of these actions, industrial SG&A as a percent of sales has come down steadily.

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