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

The team is staying disciplined on pricing and risk hurdles, and the new business returns on both lending and equipment were largely in line with the first half of the year. Earnings of $617 million were up 29% driven by lower marks and impairments primarily in our corporate air book as well as higher gains and tax benefits.

The consumer segment ended the quarter with $141 billion of assets, up 4% from last year driven by Synchrony. Net income was $621 million, down 31%. As I mentioned earlier,

Synchrony team will cover all the details of their quarter in a call later this morning. Our share of their earnings was $509 million, down 25% net of minority interest and investment in its standalone capabilities.

The international consumer business was down as well from the effect of lower assets which were down 16% year-over-year, consistent with last quarter. In real estate assets of $36 billion were down 9% versus prior year. The equity book is down 28% from a year ago to $12 billion.

Net income of $175 million was down 62%, primarily from non-repeat of prior year tax benefits. In the current quarter, we sold 72 properties from our real estate equity book with a book value of roughly $0.5 billion for $122 million in gains.

In the verticals, GECAS earned $133 million, down 23% from lower assets and tax benefits. Impairments including our annual review completed this quarter resulted in a $197 million after-tax impact, roughly in line with the third quarter of last year. The impairments are driven by value declines in 50 seater regional jets, older-767s and older A320s.

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Overall, the portfolio is in great shape and we finished the quarter once again with no aircraft on the ground and zero delinquencies. We do not anticipate any updates in the fourth quarter to the GCAS impairment process. New volume was much stronger at $1.4 billion, up 62% with very attractive returns in line with the first half of the year.

As Jeff mentioned before, we were excited to announce the Milestone acquisition on Monday. The acquisition combines GCAS global reach and leasing expertise with a growing helicopter financing business that will diversify our business and put our capital to work at good returns.

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This is in line with GE Capital’s strategy to grow in the mid-market and industrial vertical space where we have deep domain expertise and are competitively advantaged. The deal is expected to close in 2015 pending regulatory approvals.

Energy finance earned $61 million, down 59% resulting from lower assets and gains and higher impairments. EFS volume was up strongly at 152% year-over-year at very attractive returns.

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As you look forward to the fourth quarter, we expect GE Capital to be about $1.8 billion in earnings including the gain from exiting of our Nordics business. However, we continue to aggressive work on opportunities to reduce the size of non-strategic portfolio. And these transactions could impact earnings and tax and the tax rate in the fourth quarter.

So overall, Keith and the team continue to execute the portfolio strategy and deliver solid operating results. So with that, I’ll turn it back to Jeff.

Jeffery Immelt

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Thanks, Jeff. We remain on track for a 2014 operating framework. Industrial segment earnings were driven by sustained organic growth and margin expansion and are expected to grow by at least 10% this year. GE Capital is on track with higher earnings in the fourth quarter, due to the timing of the Nordic consumer finance platform sale.

Corporate is on track as expected and as expected, corporate has been a drag in 2014 because of restructuring investments exceed gains. However, this will be a real tailwind in 2015.

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Cash and revenues remain on track and we expect fourth quarter organic revenue to be robust. Despite a volatile global environment, GE expects to have a good fourth quarter and deliver on our 2014 framework. In addition, we are changing the portfolio to position GE for long-term growth.

The GE team has done a good job of both strategic and operational execution. With a big backlog, high levels of recurring revenue and a restructuring program already in place,, we believe that GE will deliver for investors in times like these.

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Now, Matt let’s turn it back over to you and take some questions.

Matthew Cribbins – Vice President, Investor Communications

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All right, thanks, Jeff, Why don’t we open up and take some questions now?

Question-and-Answer Session

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