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BUSINESS NEWS

13 Jul 07. GE Reports Second-Quarter EPS up 13% to $.52 per Share; 2007 Share Repurchase Program Increased to $14bn; Record Orders of $25bn, up 32%
2Q ’07 Highlights (Continuing Operations)
* Earnings per share (EPS) of $.52, up 13%; Earnings of $5.4bn, up 12%
* Revenues of $42.3bn, up 12%; Organic revenue growth of 8%
Global revenues of $21.2bn, up 21%; developing markets revenues of $8.3bn, up 29%
* Total orders of $25bn, up 32%; major equipment orders of $13.1bn,
up 54%; services orders of $8.1bn, up 11%
* Segment operating profit margin increased 70 basis points to 17%
* Share repurchase program increased to $14bn for 2007, with $12n
expected to be completed between now and year end
GE announced today record second-quarter 2007 earnings from continuing operations of $5.4 bn or $.52 per share, up 12% and 13%, respectively, from second quarter 2006. Revenues from continuing operations were $42.3bn, up 12%, increasing 8% organically. “Infrastructure and Commercial Finance, which account for 56% of segment profit, led our strong performance this quarter with profit growth of 23% and 18%, respectively,” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said. “Global demand for our Infrastructure products and services is unprecedented with double-digit revenue and earnings growth in Oil & Gas, Aviation, Energy, and Transportation. Strong global origination at Commercial Finance contributed to double-digit growth in assets, revenues, and earnings.

18 Jul 07. IBM, long considered a bellwether of the technology industry, on Wednesday reported its strongest underlying growth in more than six years, as its long-term push into software and an overhaul of the services division showed results. The company’s aggressive shift in financial strategy earlier this year to borrow heavily in order to buy back shares also enabled it to boost earnings per share by 19 per cent, or 15 per cent excluding one-off items, topping expectations. However, operating costs continued to rise more quickly than revenues as the technology giant’s recent spate of acquisitions and heavier investment spending ate into its profit margins. Those escalating costs will moderate in the second half of this year, with expense growth falling back to 7-9 per cent from the 12 per cent of the most recent quarter, said Mark Loughbridge, chief financial officer. “This was a really good quarter, close to firing on all cylinders,” he added. The results for the three months to the end of June capped recent attempts by IBM to revive both its revenue growth rate and its earnings per share, with acquisitions and borrowing playing a bigger role in efforts to improve returns to shareholders. The more aggressive strategy has pushed Big Blue’s shares up by 50 per cent over the past 12 months, lifting to their highest level in more than five years. IBM’s sales climbed by 9 per cent in the latest quarter to $23.8bn, or 6 per cent excluding the currency effects, some two percentage points above Wall Street expectations. The software division, which grew by 9 per cent in constant currency terms, to $4.8bn, once again underpinned the advance. The company’s faster-growing branded middleware products now account for 53 per cent of software revenues, up five percentage points from a year ago, the company said. Investments in the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China also paid off, with revenues from these areas growing by 25 per cent. Earnings per share increased to $1.55, or $1.50 excluding the sale of the company’s printer division, above the $1.47 analysts had expected. (Source: FT.com)

19 Jul 07. Dell continued to slip further behind its rival Hewlett-Packard in personal computer shipments last quarter, according to new data from two of the world’s leading market research groups. The preliminary figures from Gartner and IDC showed that HP, which overtook Dell last year as the world’s leading PC maker, continued to gain market share over its beleaguered

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