General Electric Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component General Electric (NYSE:GE) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Friday, January 18, 2013. General Electric is an advanced technology, services and finance company that provides services ranging from aircraft engines to business and consumer financing.

General Electric Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 43 cents per share, a rise of 10.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 47 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 43 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 17.1% versus last year to $1.51.

Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported profit of 36 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 36 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent.

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A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 8.3% to $3.49 billion (33 cents a share) from $3.22 billion (22 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 2.8% to $36.35 billion from $35.37 billion.

Here’s how General Electric traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

GE

Stock Price Performance: Between October 17, 2012 and January 14, 2013, the stock price fell $1.79 (-7.8%), from $22.91 to $21.12. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 6, 2012 and March 19, 2012, when shares rose for 10 straight days, increasing 9.7% (+$1.79) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 1, 2012 and May 9, 2012 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 4.5% (-89 cents) over that span.

Analyst Ratings: There are seven out of 11 analysts surveyed (63.6%) rating General Electric a buy.

Key Stats:

Last quarter’s earnings rise was a switch from preceding drops, so the upcoming earnings announcement is a chance to build on last quarter’s result. Net income fell in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the first quarter and the second quarter before snapping that run with a profit increase in the third quarter.

On the top line, the company is looking to build on two-straight revenue increases with this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 2.5% in the second quarter before climbing again in the third quarter.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 1.9% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $38.71 billion.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 2.27 last quarter. Having a ratio above 2:1 is usually considered a good indicator of a company’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)