BCN-41 GE reports 4Q profits, sees US settlement on mortgages

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GE reports 4Q profits, sees US settlement on mortgages

NEW YORK, Jan 31, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – General Electric reported a profitable
fourth quarter Thursday amid a big annual loss as it announced a preliminary
$1.5 billion settlement with US officials over subprime mortgages.

Profit for the fourth quarter was $574 million, compared with a loss of $11
billion in the year-ago period due to one-time expenses, including for US tax
reform.

Revenues were $33.3 billion, up 5.3 percent.

The once-mighty industrial giant, which was thrown out of the prestigious
Dow index last year amid a prolonged slump, continued to struggle in its
power division, which suffered an $872 million loss.

GE downgraded its power assets earlier this year, a key factor in the
annual loss of $22.8 billion in 2018.

But GE’s other industrial divisions were profitable and chief executive H.
Lawrence Culp said a turnaround was on track.

“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,” Culp said.

“We have more work to do, but I’m encouraged by the changes we’re making to
strengthen GE.”

GE said it reached a $1.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department
connected to subprime mortgages a company unit acquired between 2005 and 2007
ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.

GE’s quarterly profits translated to 17 cents per share, below the 22 cents
anticipated by analysts. But revenues came in above the estimate of $32.6
billion.

Shares rose 3.0 percent in pre-market trading to $9.71.

BSS/AFP/SR/1930 HRS