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General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) Gets Closer to Alstom Deal; Earnings in Focus

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General Electric Company has edged a step closer to completing its $17 billion acquisition of Alstom SA ‘s power business after the U.S. conglomerate proposed concessions to antitrust regulators in Europe. The move comes after months of tough negotiations, and is aimed at easing concerns about higher prices for large gas turbines in Europe.

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The Deal is Key to GE’s Transformation

The purchase of the Alstom unit is central to General Electric Company planned return to its industrial roots. The deal was announced more than a year ago, but got mired in regulatory hurdles. The European Commission had last month sent the company a formal list of its concerns surrounding the deal.

In a statement issued late Thursday, GE said it submitted certain corrective measures that “address the concerns of the commission and at the same time preserve the economic and strategic value of the deal.”

 

General Electric Companyhas repeatedly argued that heavy-duty gas turbines are globally sold by only four competing companies that include Siemens AG and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power, and that only 5% of the total demand is generated from Europe.

Negotiations with the regulator will continue, and the new deadline for the EU to make a decision is September 11, according to a person close to GE. Most analysts expect the acquisition to be completed by the second half of the year.

What to Expect on Earnings Front 

General Electric Company is all set to release its second-quarter results before the start of trade on Friday, July 17. Wall Street is expecting GE to report progress in its ongoing effort to get back to its high-margin industrial roots.

The consensus of analysts covering the stock is for a quarterly operating profit of 28 cents per share, compared to 31 cents per share in the last reported quarter and 39 cents per share in the year ago period.

However, including the cost of exiting GE Capital, the company suffered a first quarter net loss of $1.35 per share and a net profit of 35 cents per share in same period last year. Sales are likely to come in at around $28.7 billion, down from $29.5 billion in the prior quarter, and a decline of almost 21 percent from $36.2 billion a year earlier.

General Electric Company ’s earnings per share have topped analysts’ estimates in the past three quarters, but revenue came in below forecasts for each of those periods. Shares of GE are flat for the preceding 12-month period, compared to a 5.9 percent gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the corresponding period. However, year-to-date, the stock has fared much better, up 5.5 percent versus a 1.3 percent rise in the industrials average.

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