NEW YORK — General Electric’s net income rose 13 percent in the second quarter on strong performance from its aviation and oil and gas divisions.
The company said orders, especially those in developing countries, were strong and that the global economic environment continues to be positive.
GE (GE) also said that its previously announced plan to spin off its credit card business with an initial public offering is targeted for late July. GE said it plans to sell 15 percent of the company, to be called Synchrony Financial, and raise $3.1 billion in the process. That values all of Synchrony at $20.7 billion.
GE, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, is working to become a more focused industrial conglomerate by shedding divisions such as NBC Universal, real estate and some banking operations.
Second-quarter profit increased to $3.55 billion, or 35 cents a share, from $3.13 billion, or 30 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.
Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and to account for discontinued operations, were 39 cents a share, matching the average per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.
Revenue climbed 3.2 percent to $36.23 billion from $35.12 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts expected $36.26 billion, according to Zacks.
But revenue from the company’s industrial segment — which excludes revenue from the finance division that the company is trying to shrink — rose 7 percent in the quarter compared with last year.
Profit from industrial divisions, those that manufacture locomotives, aircraft engines, gas turbines, medical equipment and oil and gas drilling equipment, rose 9 percent for the quarter. Oil and gas profit rose 25 percent and aviation profit rose 12 percent, though transportation fell 14 percent.
Christian Mayes, an analyst at Edward Jones, said the strong performance of the industrial divisions is what investors were hoping to see. “They are moving in the right direction,” he said.
GE said that its $17 billion offer for the energy operations of France’s Alstom, which was approved by Alstom’s board and the French government in June, remains on track to close next year
GE shares rose 17 cents in trading an hour before the market opened Friday. GE shares have dropped $1.42, or 5.1 percent, to $26.61 since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) has risen 5.9 percent. However, the stock has risen $2.98, or 13 percent, in the last 12 months.
Before launching into review our finances, I kicked off with the same Money Organizer Workbook I have my readers or clients use when reviewing their finances. It broke down steps for me to conquer and review one at a time, and allowed me to see the areas I needed to focus on and where I was good to go.
1. Start with a list
Creating a plan around your finances without having clearly defined goals in akin to getting into the car to drive somewhere without a destination in mind. There’s no room for vagueness. My husband and I had to sit down and determine what we’re trying to accomplish (aside from just surviving the change wave that is hitting us). We got detailed and created actionable SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). So, instead of merely saying we’ll vacation in Europe, we’re now "saving $5,000 for a vacation to Europe next summer."
2. Get SMART
We all know we’re supposed to spend less than we make, but are we? Building a budget is the most important part of getting financially organized. You can’t create a plan to meet your goals without knowing where your money is going. Start tracking your spending by paying attention to fixed expenses, debt payments and discretionary (or what I call "fun times") expenses. Pinpoint the areas that are prime for reductions if necessary. In our house, we’re willing to cut back on dining out in order to build up our travel fund.
3. Focus on the B-word
Have you added to or reduced debt since the year began? When it comes to tackling debt, either go after accounts with the highest interest rates first (meaning extra money goes towards this balance only) or use the "snowball" method (targeting lowest balances for payoff first) to build momentum. I have clients and readers use the debt spreadsheet in the Money Organizer Workbook to document creditors, outstanding balances, terms, interest rates and minimum monthly payments and prioritize from there. While we make an effort to pay off our credit cards in full each month, knowing the balances we carry in other debt helps us to understand how much mortgage we can afford when we make the move into a house later this year.
4. Tackle debt
If you didn’t start on Jan. 1, there are still six months left to maximize retirement plan contributions. The max contribution for Roth and IRA accounts in 2014 is $5,500 — $916.67 a month, for the next six months.
The max contribution for your Roth and regular 401(k)s is $17,500. That’s $2,916.67 a month for the next six months.
As an entrepreneur managing my finances on a variable income, I tackle the funding with ongoing systematic contributions and some lump-sum deposits through the year.
5. Max it out
If you haven’t been paying attention to your investments, now is the time to check in on allocations and adjust or rebalance to align with your intended strategy. With the market on the move upwards, I took the chance to look at our accounts and the original intended allocation for our funds. With the growth in the market, some funds were out of balance with their intended targets, so I sold and purchased and rebalanced back to target allocations.
6. Allocate and diversify
You may think "it won’t happen to you," but in reality, could and might. Having the right kinds of insurance in place for home, auto, life, disability and personal liability is incredibly important. It’s even more important to update these numbers as your income fluctuates, your family grows, your career changes, you make large purchases or acquire debt. Many of these numbers are being revamped this month in our household due to my husband’s transition to a new job and the adjustments to benefits that we have and need.
7. Protect yourself
Thinking about your death or possible disability is by no means sexy, but it’s important. Having the tough conversations and creating documentation for your wishes is a gift of peace of mind for your family. (It’s also a good time to tell your spouse who he or she can and can’t date if you’re no longer around). This is a conversation that my husband and I had a while ago during a road trip, and we have documentation in place, but with family planning on the horizon, it has recently brought up some new questions that we needed to address.
8. Have the tough conversations
Schedule a check-in for six months from now to track the progress you’ve made on goals and to review the list of items you’ve tackled in the previous months. Celebrate your wins along the way. In our house, we have a list of the things we want to purchase (big or small) on the refrigerator. Each time our savings accounts get to a certain amount, we celebrate by allowing ourselves $100 toward one of the items we wanted to purchase. It’s a small way to celebrate success and to curb impulse spending.
9. Rinse, repeat and celebrate
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