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GE and Noble Energy Report Q3 Earnings

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted October 24, 2011

Third quarter earnings were released on Friday for General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL), and both companies saw an increase in profit.

General Electric’s third quarter profit increased 18%, and the company attributed this largely to a spike in demand abroad, particularly from Brazil, Russia, and China.

The earnings for the quarter met Wall Street expectations, but as Bloomberg reports, it was the first time since that fourth quarter of 2008 that the numbers didn’t surpass expectation.

Though overall profit rose, the profit margin was the weakest of the year.  Company officials, however, remain optimistic that this will change in 2012.

A slow turbine demand, Bloomberg says, put energy unit profit margins at 14.4%, though the company expects this to rise to at least 15% to 16% in the next quarter.

CEO Jeffrey Immelt told Bloomberg that the company plans to cut down on the finance unit and bulk up on research and development.  As he said in a conference call:

“Margins hit a low for the year in the third quarter.  We expect improvement in the fourth quarter.  Energy is a big driver.”

The article reports that GE Capital gained 79%, though the wind business was able to push profit margins down 2.9% all by itself.

Officials expect 60% of this year’s revenue to come from abroad compared with last year’s 53% overseas revenue.

Even with an increase in overseas demand, 2011 will probably remain a slow year.  GE believes 2012 will prove much better for the company, however.

Shares of GE were down 2.4% in afternoon trading to $16.21.

Noble Energy, meanwhile, saw a huge net increase of 90.1%, a jump that is largely attributed to the rise in oil and gas prices.

The company, focused in exploration and production of oil and natural gas, increased its production forecast to account for Marcellus Shale production.

As the company reports reflect, production should reach 226,000 to 234,000 barrels of oil and gas next quarter, says Bloomberg.

Noble’s adjusted earnings were $234 million in the third quarter, or $1.24 per share, greatly surpassing Wall Street’s estimate of $1.04 per share.

Though revenue predictions were $931.7 million and the company only reached $924 million, this did little to hurt profit.

As Bloomberg reports, oil prices rose 33.7% and natural gas prices jumped 13.8%, doing wonderful things for Noble profits.

Noble Energy was up 2.2% in afternoon trading to $88.75.

That’s all for now,

Brianna

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