NBC parent GE keeps low expectations in place


NBC Universal had a decent Q2, with revenues up 7% and profits up 1%, while parent General Electric reported overall a 5.8% drop in net income. GE is sticking with its guidance that full year earnings per share will be up 0-5%. Meanwhile, NBCU is looking to bring in a billion bucks from the Olympics.

“Many markets and industries remain healthy, while the US economy is challenged,” said GE CEO Immelt. “Opportunities in emerging markets, infrastructure, commodities and global healthcare are creating demand for our businesses, while we fight through the difficulties of a burdened US consumer, a tough housing market, inflation and volatile capital markets. Even with all this uncertainty, we still see growth opportunities ahead,” he said.

Just a day earlier, Immelt had announced that the company was looking to spin-off its entire Consumer & Industrial business unit to shareholders. That’s now expected to take place in 2009. Also, GE has sold its consumer finance business in Japan to Shinsei Bank for $5.4 billion.

GE’s Infrastructure unit was the star performer in Q2, with revenues up 26% and profits up 24%. But that wasn’t enough to counter a 32% profit decline by Industrial Products and 9% by GE Money, the consumer finance operation.

NBC Universal say revenues improved 7% to $3.88 billion and profits rose 1% to $909 million. CFO Keith Sherin told analysts that NBCU’s upfront sales should total $4.3 billion, up from $4.0 billion a year ago. And the company is looking to bring in a big cash haul from the Beijing Olympics, some $1 billion.