On July 13, ultimate conglomerate General Electric (NYSE:GE) released earnings for the second quarter ended June 30.

  • Its EPS growth of 10% is right where management wants it -- the long-term goal is to hit between 10% and 12% on that line.
  • Cash from operations ballooned a very healthy 45%. We don't have a full data sheet, but assuming stable capital spending in the mid-$4-billion range, free cash flow just about doubled over last year.
  • Expect the share count to drop even faster soon -- a $14 billion buyback program is to be completed by the end of the year, reducing the number of shares by about 3.4% at today's share price.

(Figures in millions, except per-share data)

Income Statement Highlights

Q2 2007

Q2 2006

Change

Sales

$42,316

$37,745

12.1%

Net Profit

$5,420

$4,946

9.6%

EPS

$0.53

$0.48

10.4%

Diluted Shares

10,303

10,400

(0.9%)

Get back to basics with the income statement.

Margin Checkup

Q2 2007

Q2 2006

Change*

Gross Margin

34.5%

32.5%

2.1

Operating Margin

15.3%

15.5%

(0.2)

Net Margin

12.8%

13.1%

(0.3)

*Expressed in percentage points

Margins are the earnings engine.

Balance Sheet Highlights*

Assets

Q2 2007

Q2 2006

Change

Cash + ST Invest.

$2,600

$2,235

16.3%

Accounts Rec.

$13,100

$12,255

6.9%

Inventory

$12,500

$11,579

8.0%

Liabilities

Q2 2007

Q2 2006

Change

Total Debt

$12,800

$10,607

20.7%

*Excluding GE Finance, which would drown out any changes in the operational balances.

The balance sheet reflects the company's health.

Cash Flow Highlights

Q2 2007

Q2 2006

Change

Cash From Ops.

$9,709

$6,695

45.0%

Free cash flow is a Fool's best friend. GE didn't give us a full cash flow statement at this time, though.

Related Foolishness:

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At the time of publication, Fool contributor Anders Bylund had no position in any company mentioned. Fool rules are here.