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BUSINESS NEWS 27/01/05

21 Jan 05. GE achieved record fourth-quarter revenues of $43.7bn, up 18% from fourth quarter 2003, and record fourth-quarter earnings of $5.4 billion, also up 18%. Full-year 2004 earnings were $16.6bn, up 6% from 2003 earnings before required accounting changes. Cash flow from GE’s operating activities (CFOA) in 2004 increased 18% to $15.2bn.”GE had a tremendous fourth quarter and an excellent 2004, as we completed our strategic repositioning and returned to double-digit earnings growth in the quarter,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “In the fourth quarter, nine of our 11 businesses delivered double-digit earnings growth. Industrial sales grew 19%, and our key financial services businesses ended the year with assets up 20% and improved overall portfolio quality. Total orders for the quarter increased 15% over last year, with growth across the board. We are benefiting from strong execution of our growth initiatives and an excellent global economy.

26 Jan 05. General Dynamics (NYSE: GD – News) today reported 2004 fourth quarter net earnings of $336m, or $1.66 per share on a fully diluted basis, (2004:$279m, or $1.40 per share). Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $5.2bn, (2004: $4.7bn). Revenue for the full year of 2004 was $19.2bn, (2003: $16.4bn), an increase of 17 percent. Net earnings for 2004 were $1.23bn, or $6.09 per share on a fully diluted basis, net earnings of $1bn, or $5.04 fully diluted in 2003, an increase of 22 percent. During 2004 the company announced plans to divest several businesses. As required by generally accepted accounting principles, the company’s reported $19.2bn in 2004 sales excludes $375m in revenue associated with these businesses. The income from these businesses ($0.12 per share for the year) is included, but reported as discontinued operations on the company’s earnings statement for both the quarter and the year. Net cash provided by operating activities totaled $799m in the quarter and $1.8bn for the year. Free cash flow from operations, defined as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures, was $709m in the quarter and $1.54bn for the year. Free cash flow from operations for the year-ago period was $789m in the quarter and $1.5bn for the year. Funded backlog at the end of 2004 was $28.3bn, and total backlog was $42.1bn, compared to $25.1bn and $39.9bn, respectively, at the end of the third quarter 2004.

26 Jan 05. Texas Instruments reported that sales grew 14 per cent year-on-year in its fourth quarter and were up 28 per cent for the year as a whole due to the strength of its semiconductor business. TI said sales in the quarter to December 31 were $3.15bn, down 3 per cent on the September quarter due to a seasonal decline in the education market for graphing calculators, a product on which the company made its name. For the year, sales were $12.58bn, helped by 31 per cent growth in semiconductors, which now account for nearly 90 per cent of TI’s revenues. Diluted earnings per share were 28 cents compared to 29 cents a year earlier and 32 cents in the September quarter. The results were ahead of guidance, scaled down in December, of sales of up to $3.14bn and earnings of up to 27 cents. In common with the rest of the chip industry, TI has been caught by a cyclical downturn caused by oversupply and falling prices.The company said it had reduced its own inventory by $100m in the fourth quarter and it would be at “desired levels” in the first quarter.

21 Jan 05. United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) reported fourth quarter 2004 earnings per share of $1.29 and net income of $650m, both up 11 percent from the year ago quarter. Consolidated revenues increased 15 percent to $9.8bn, reflecting organic growth of 6 percent, the addition of the Linde commercial refrigeration business and the continuing benefit of foreign exchange. Full year earnings per share of $5.52 and net income of $2.8bn were both 18 percent higher than 2003 results. Revenues increased

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