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GE reports strong Q4 sales, stock surges

Heidi Chung
Reporter

General Electric (GE) stock soared 11.6% on Thursday after reporting Q4 financial results.

Revenue was stronger than anticipated. GE saw $33.28 billion in revenue in Q4, while analysts were predicting $32.33 billion in revenue.

However, the industrial giant earned 17 cents per share during the quarter, which was a 60% decline from last year, and weaker than the 22 cents per share expected by analysts.

“Our strategy is clear: de-leverage our balance sheet and strengthen our businesses, starting with Power,” Chairman and CEO Larry Culp said in a statement. “We have more work to do, but I’m encouraged by the changes we’re making to strengthen GE and create value for our shareholders, customers, and employees.”

After only a year on the job, John Flannery was abruptly removed as CEO and was replaced by a GE outsider, former Danaher CEO Larry Culp in October. Culp remains committed to turning around the company by spinning off a few of its businesses and reducing its massive $100 billion in debt.

The industrial company has been struggling to find its footing in the past couple of years, as the stock continued to plummet. GE was kicked out of the Dow in June, and shares have plunged more than 70% from its 2016 highs.

GE’s power business fell 25% during the quarter, but the aviation business rose 21%.

GE also announced a settlement with the Department of Justice for $1.5 billion in principle for its investigation on the company’s accounting practices. The DOJ was investigating GE’s now defunct WMC for subprime mortgage violations 2006 and 2007. GE had been working on this settlement with the DOJ since March of 2018.

As the company’s conference call kicks off at 8 a.m. ET, investors will be waiting to hear about 2019 guidance from management.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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