EARNINGS: At 18% revenue/earnings growth, GE delivers record results

Also see: 1) Lamson & Sessions net sales up 18% for quarter, 13% for full year; 2) Cytec water, process chemicals sales up 14%; and 3) URS Corp. results for 2004 include payoff of $271M in debt...

Jan 27th, 2005

In other news:
-- Lamson & Sessions net sales up 18% for quarter, 13% for full year
-- Cytec water, process chemicals sales up 14%
-- URS Corp. results for 2004 include payoff of $271M in debt

With 18% revenue/earnings growth, GE delivers record financial performance

FAIRFIELD, CT, Jan. 26, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- GE achieved record fourth-quarter revenues of $43.7 billion, up 18% from fourth quarter 2003, and record fourth-quarter earnings of $5.4 billion, also up 18%, the company announced today. Full-year 2004 earnings were $16.6 billion, up 6% from 2003 earnings before required accounting changes. Cash flow from GE's operating activities (CFOA) in 2004 increased 18% to $15.2 billion.

"In the fourth quarter, nine of our 11 businesses delivered double-digit earnings growth," said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. "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.

"For the year, nine of our 11 businesses delivered at least double-digit earnings growth and we increased CFOA to $15.2 billion. We made major progress on our portfolio, exceeding our synergy goals for the Amersham and Universal acquisitions, adding capabilities to our water, security and key financial services units, and executing several dispositions, including the initial public offering of Genworth and the sale of 60% of Gecis, our global business processing operation. Revenues from our growth initiatives -- in services and our new platforms, such as security and water -- grew 12% and 17% respectively, and global revenues increased 16%.

"As a result, we're going into 2005 with excellent momentum," Immelt said. "We are very confident about achieving 10-15% earnings growth with strong cash flow growth and sustaining this growth into 2006 as well."

Highlights of preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year 2004 results:
-- Fourth-quarter earnings were a record $5.378 billion, up 18% from $4.560 billion in fourth quarter 2003. Nine of GE's 11 businesses - Advanced Materials, Commercial Finance, Consumer Finance, Consumer & Industrial, Equipment & Other Services, Healthcare, Infrastructure, NBC Universal and Transportation - contributed double-digit earnings growth. Earnings of the Insurance segment declined as a result of increases in loss reserves for policies written in prior years and the disposition of several businesses.
-- Fourth-quarter revenues were a record $43.7 billion, up 18% over $37.0 billion in fourth quarter 2003. Industrial sales increased 19% to $24.6 billion, reflecting the impact of acquisitions, solid core growth and lower sales at GE Energy. Financial services revenues rose 16% over last year to $19.2 billion.
-- Full-year 2004 earnings were a record $16.6 billion, up 6% from $15.6 billion before required accounting changes in 2003. Nine of GE's 11 businesses contributed at least double-digit earnings growth for the year. Net earnings for 2004 of $16.6 billion were 11% higher than $15.0 billion in 2003, which reflected charges of $587 million for the cumulative effects of required accounting changes to consolidate special purpose entities and to record asset retirement obligations.
-- Full-year revenues grew 14% to $152.4 billion. Industrial sales rose 17% to $82.2 billion, reflecting the impact of acquisitions, solid core growth and lower sales at GE Energy. Financial services revenues increased 10% to $70.8 billion, including the effects of exiting certain Insurance businesses.
-- Cash generated from GE's operating activities in 2004 totaled $15.2 billion, up 18% from $12.9 billion last year, reflecting a 27% increase in CFOA from industrial businesses and lower GE Capital Services dividends, due principally to lower proceeds from business dispositions.

Among fourth quarter 2004 business highlights, GE Infrastructure announced two strategic acquisitions: Ionics, a global leader in desalination, and Edwards Systems Technology's fire detection systems business. It also completed a third, InVision Technologies, positioning Infrastructure for growth in the water and security industries. Year-end sales for the unit in 2004 were $563 million vs. $462 million in 2003, an increase of 22%. For the fourth quarter, sales were $170 million up 30% from $131 million.

General Electric (www.ge.com) is a diversified technology, media and financial services company dedicated to creating products that make life better. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, television programming, and plastics, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide.

Lamson & Sessions expects record net sales for 2004, strong growth in 2005
CLEVELAND, Jan. 24, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- Lamson & Sessions announced that it expects to report record net earnings up 67-76% for the full year 2004, with net sales for the fourth quarter at a record $97 million compared with $82.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, an increase of 18%.

For the full year 2004, net sales are expected to reach approximately $387 million, which would also be a record based on its current structure, and would represent a growth rate of over 13% for the year.

The net sales for the fourth quarter and full year reflect a reclassification of certain cooperative advertising expenses and service commissions, which were reclassified from operating expenses, resulting in a reduction in net sales. These reclassifications have no impact on operating income. The company expects to report its results for 2004 on Feb. 17, 2005.

In 2005, Lamson & Sessions anticipates that net sales will grow 8-11% to a range of $420 million to $430 million, reflecting strengthening conditions in the commercial and industrial construction markets and the telecom infrastructure market. Based on this net sales growth and higher operating capacity utilization, the company projects that net income will rise to a range of $10 million to $11.5 million in 2005, an increase in the range of 55-70% over the expected 2004 results.

For the first quarter of 2005, net sales are anticipated to rise approximately 10% to $94 million over the $85.3 million reported in the first quarter of 2004. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2005 are expected to grow strongly to 8-10 cents compared with the first quarter of 2004. In the first quarter of 2004, the Company reported diluted earnings per share of 9 cents from continuing operations, which included a gain on the sale of a plant of $952,000 (approximately $554,000, or 4 cents per diluted share, net of tax).

On October 5, 2004, the company announced that it was beginning a review of various strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, which may include the sale of part or all of the company. This evaluation process is continuing.

Lamson & Sessions (www.lamson-sessions.com) is a leading producer of thermoplastic enclosures, fittings, wiring outlet boxes and conduit for the electrical, telecommunications, consumer, power and wastewater markets.

Cytec water, process chemicals sales up 14%
WEST PATERSON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 20, 2005--Cytec Industries Inc. announced that net earnings available to common stockholders for the fourth quarter of 2004 were $45.1 million on net sales of $451 million, including an after tax net gain of $17.1 million related to foreign currency and interest rate hedging transactions associated with the anticipated acquisition of UCB's Surface Specialties business.

Excluding this special item, net earnings available to common stockholders for the fourth quarter of 2004 were $28.0. Net earnings available to common stockholders for the comparable period of 2003 were $14.6 million on net sales of $362 million.

David Lilley, chairman, president and CEO, said, "Overall, sales for the fourth quarter were up 25% compared to the prior year period. Sales volumes were up 16%, selling prices were up 7% and exchange rate changes added 2%. Raw material and energy costs, continuing their upward trend, were significantly higher and were well above the prior year period."

In Water and Industrial Process Chemicals, sales volumes increased 11%, exchange rate changes benefited sales by 3% while selling prices were flat. Sales volumes were up in all product lines. The major contributors were sales of Water Treatment chemicals globally and Mining Chemicals, particularly in Latin America, where high production rates continue at the major copper producers.

The increase in operating earnings to $7 million was the result of higher demand levels only partially offset by significantly higher raw material and energy costs.

Net earnings available to common stockholders for the full year ended Dec. 31, 2004 were $116.2 million on sales of $1,721 million. Net earnings available to common stockholders for the full year were $77.4 million on sales of $1,472 million, after a cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle of $13.6 million after tax. Before the accounting change, net earnings available to common stockholders were $91.0 million.

URS Corp. results for 2004 include payoff of $271M in debt
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 13, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- URS Corp. reported revenues of $907.4 million for the fiscal 2004 fourth quarter ended October 31, 2004, an increase of 8% from the $838.1 million in revenues reported for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003. Net income was $26.1 million, compared to $19.5 million for the corresponding fourth quarter of fiscal 2003.

For the fiscal year, revenues increased 6% to $3.382 billion from $3.187 billion in 2003. Net income was $61.7 million, compared to $58.1 million in fiscal 2003. Net income for fiscal 2004 included a previously announced pre-tax charge of $28.2 million, which was taken in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2004. The charge related to the Company's note redemptions of $260.0 million.

As of October 31, 2004, the Company's backlog was $3.823 billion, compared to $3.662 billion a year earlier.

URS Corp. (www.urscorp.com) offers a comprehensive range of professional planning and design, systems engineering and technical assistance, program and construction management, and operations and maintenance services for transportation, commercial/industrial, facilities, environmental, water/wastewater, homeland security, installations and logistics, and defense systems. Based in San Francisco, the company operates in more than 20 countries with approximately 27,500 employees providing engineering and technical services to federal, state and local governmental agencies as well as private clients in the chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, power, manufacturing, mining and forest products industries.

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