Q4 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 01/17/2014

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the General Electric Fourth Quarter 2013 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. My name is Francis, and I'll 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, Trevor Schauenberg, Vice President of Investor Communications. Please proceed, sir.

Trevor A. Schauenberg - VP, Corporate Investor Communications: Thank you, Francis. Good morning and welcome, everyone. We're pleased to host today's Fourth Quarter and Total Year 2013 Earnings Webcast. Regarding the materials for this webcast, we issued the press release and the presentation earlier this morning. Slides are available on our website 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; and our Senior Vice President and CFO, Jeff Bornstein; and our new IR leader (Mac Harbins).

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

Jeffrey R. Immelt - Chairman and CEO: Thanks, Trevor and good morning, everybody. It looks that Company had a good fourth quarter and a generally improving environment. Orders grew by 8%, and our backlog is an all-time high at $244 billion. Growth market orders grew by 13% and the U.S. expanded by 8% and Europe grew by 3%. So, pretty broad-based growth and Industrial organic growth was 5% for the quarter. We earned $0.53 per share and the quarter up 20%. Our Industrial earnings growth was up 12% with six of seven segments growing. Capital earned $2.5 billion, including some tax efficient gains as we exited global platforms and we are able to pull forward $0.05 in Industrial restructuring, partially offset by $0.03 of gain. So, this is more than we expected and will give us some more cost out in 2014.

We continue to run the Company well, and margins grew by 100 basis points in the quarter and 60 basis points for the year. This actually reflects 66 basis points before the impact of acquisitions. Our value gap was exceptionally strong and we reduced structural cost by $1.6 billion for the year.

We generated $17.4 billion of CFOA and end the year with $89 billion of consolidated cash. We allocated the cash in a value creating way. We returned $18.2 billion through dividends and buyback. We completed $9 billion of M&A, primarily in Oil & Gas and Aviation, and these businesses are delivering for investors. So overall, this was a good quarter for GE and positions us to deliver in 2014 and beyond.

Our orders for the quarter were about $31 billion, a record. We also ended the year with a record high backlog of $244 billion. We had growth in both equipment and services. There was real strength in Power & Water. We ended the year with 125 orders for heavy-duty gas turbines. Power gen services grew by 9%, which was actually 16% excluding Europe. Regionally our gains were broad-based. U.S. continued to rebound growing 8% and for the total year orders grew by 8% and backlog grew by $34 billion.

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