GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) shares got a bump today after the company topped the consensus forecast for its fourth-quarter sales and swung to black ink for the period, with its healthcare business posting modest bottom- and top-line gains.
The stock rise came despite a Q4 earnings miss and wider full-year losses for the Boston-based industrial conglomerate. GE reported profits of $574 million, or 7¢ per share, on sales of $33.28 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2018. That compares with losses of -$11.0 billion on a sales gain of 5.3% during Q4 2017. Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were 17¢, a full nickel below the consensus on Wall Street, although GE beat the sales mark by $688 million.
Full-year losses rose 155.6% to -$22.80 billion, or -$2.62 per share, on sales growth of 2.3% to $113.54 billion; adjusted EPS were 65¢, 6¢ below The Street, where analysts were looking for revenues of $120.71 billion.
GE Healthcare logged Q4 profits of $1.18 billion, up 2.0%, on sales growth of 1.6% to $5.40 billion. Full-year profits were up 6.0% to $3.70 billion on sales growth of 4.0% to $19.78 billion for the healthcare business.
“Our strategy is clear: de-leverage our balance sheet and strengthen our businesses, starting with power. To do this, we are improving execution, customer focus, and how we set priorities across GE. I’m confident in our team, technology, and the global reach of GE’s brand and relationships. 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,” chairman & CEO Lawrence Culp Jr. said in prepared remarks.
GE shares were trading up 15.3% at $10.49 apiece today in mid-morning activity.