General Electric Reports Fallen Profits, But Record Backlog

Oct 18, 2013

The afterburner of a General Eletric J79 turbojet engine. The company reports a large order backlog helping to offset a slump in profits in the third quarter.
Credit Threecharlie / Wikimedia Commons

General Electric saw a fall in third quarter profits, but investors sent shares up anyway, because of a record backlog of orders for the company.

Fairfield-based GE is considered a bellwether for the U.S. economy because of its wide reach across many industries. In the third quarter, profits fell by 18 percent to just over $3 billion, brought down by a fall in revenues at GE Capital, the conglomerate’s finance arm. The numbers were also hit by the expense of foreign currency transactions.

Despite the trim in profits, the company reported a record backlog of orders for many of its industrial products. CEO Jeff Immelt told a conference call things look bright going forward. "We should see earnings growth accelerate in the fourth quarter," he said, "with more volume, and lower cost. And with the large backlog, and improving margins, we feel good about 2014."

Earnings increased at six of GE’s seven industrial businesses, and the company reaffirmed its profits forecast for the full year.