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GE Bulks Up: Fool by Numbers

On Jan. 19, anything-and-everything conglomerate General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) released fourth-quarter earnings for the 2006 fiscal year, a period that ended Dec. 31.

  • Earnings growth looks great -- until you remove the effect of discontinued operations from both reporting periods. On an apples-to-apples basis, earnings per share increased a more modest $0.08 from last year's $0.56 of income per share from continuing operations.
  • The balance sheet and cash flow figures discount the GECS financial services arm, as those huge numbers would overwhelm the results from other operations and make the conglomerate look like a bank. Including GECS, GE had $62 billion of cash on hand, $334 billion in receivables, and $433 billion of borrowed money.
  • For General Electric, discontinued operations are more a way of life than a one-time adjustment. The company is looking for buyers for its plastics segment and exploring acquisition opportunities in other areas like oil and gas, aviation, and health care -- including a just-announced $8.1 billion deal to buy the diagnostics business of Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT  ) .

(Figures in millions, except per-share data)

Income Statement Highlights

Q4 2006

Q4 2005






Net Profit








Diluted Shares




Get back to basics with a look at the income statement.

Margin Checkup

Q4 2006

Q4 2005


Gross Margin




Operating Margin




Net Margin




*Expressed in percentage points.

Margins are the earnings engine. See how they work.

Management Effectiveness

Q4 2006

Q4 2005


Return on Average Assets




Return on Average Equity




*Expressed in percentage points.

See how management puts its financial tools to work.

Balance Sheet Highlights


Q4 2006

Q4 2005


Cash + ST Invest.




Accounts Rec.









Q4 2006

Q4 2005






Learn the ways of the balance sheet.

Cash Flow Highlights

FY 2006

FY 2005


Cash From Ops.




Find out why Fools always follow the money.

Related Companies:

  • Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  )
  • Affymetrix (Nasdaq: AFFX  )
  • Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A  )
  • Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  )
  • Eastman Chemical (NYSE: EMN  )

Related Foolishness:

Disney is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick, and Affymetrix is an official Rule Breaker. Read up on GE's competition with a free 30-day trial to either service, or both.

Fool by Numbers is designed to give you the raw earnings information in a timely fashion, putting all the numbers you need in one easy-to-read place. But at The Motley Fool, we believe numbers tell only part of the story, so check for more of our in-depth discussion of what the numbers mean.

At the time of publication, Anders Bylund was a Disney shareholder but had no other position in any company mentioned. Fool rules are here.

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9/28/2016 4:00 PM
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