Q1 2014 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/17/2014

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the General Electric First Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. My name is Ellen. I will be your conference coordinator today. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the program over to your host for today's conference, Matt Cribbins, Vice President of Investor Communications. Please proceed.

Matthew G. Cribbins - VP, Corporate IR: Thank you, Ellen. Good morning, and welcome, everyone. We're pleased to host today's first quarter webcast. Regarding the materials for this webcast, we issued the press release earlier this morning on our website at www.ge.com/investor.

As always, elements of this presentation are forward-looking and are based on our best view of the world and our businesses, as we see them today. Those elements can change as the world changes. Please interpret them in that light. For today's webcast, we have our Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt; our Senior Vice Chairman and CFO, Jeffrey Bornstein; and our Vice President, Subsea Systems, Rod Christie.

We listened to your feedback and thought we'd try something new. To drive a more strategic discussion on the call, we'll be inviting business leaders to participate to talk about their business, markets, new product introductions and major initiatives. We've asked Rod to join today to talk about Subsea.

Now I'd like to turn it over to our Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt.

Jeffrey R. Immelt - Chairman and CEO: Thanks, Matt, and good morning everybody. Hey look, the GE team had a good quarter in a volatile but improving environment. U.S. gets a little bit better every day; Europe is improving; the growth markets continue to expand and will provide growth during the year, even with volatility.

We had strength across most of our portfolio as global infrastructure markets remain solid. We continue to benefit in Energy, Oil & Gas, and Aviation sectors, and we saw some improvement in the demand for credit. At the same time, we encountered a few headwinds in the quarter. Weather impacted our Appliances business, but improved in March. Transportation was impacted by mining inventory corrections; and the U.S. Healthcare market continued to experience volatility. Some of this improved as the quarter progressed.

Our execution was strong. Industrial segment growth was up 12% above our 10% goal. Organic growth was up 8%, above our 4% to 7% goal. Margin growth was 50 basis points basis points, and we are on track to meet our goal of 17% margins by 2016.

Our Capital earnings and cash were in line with our expectations for the year. We returned $3.4 billion to investors in dividends and buyback, and announced $2 billion of bolt-on acquisitions. Finally, we submitted our SEC filing for Synchrony, the RFS spin-off. This is an important step as we head for our 70% Industrial goal.

We delivered $0.33 of operating EPS, up 9%, excluding the impact of NBCU gains in 2013 and restructuring. This is the kind of quarter GE investors should like. The environment was not perfect, but we were able to deliver strong results due to the breadth of our portfolio.

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