A strong showing for the renewable energy division of General Electric was not enough to boost second quarter profits. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
July 21 (UPI) -- General Electric said Friday it recorded a 12 percent decline in overall revenues, with its oil and gas division taking a toll on the company's financials.
GE reported $29.6 billion in revenue for the second quarter, down 12 percent from the same period last year. Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said the company expected to generate more cash flow through the remainder of the year, but acknowledged underlying market pressures.
"GE's portfolio enables us to execute in a slow-growth, volatile environment," he said in a statement.
Immelt said the company already cut expenses by $670 million and was on pace to meet or exceed its $1 billion target by the end of the year.
GE during the second quarter reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that closed the merger with oilfield services company Baker Hughes. GE under the agreement divested from its water and process technology unit, part of a remedy for the merger announced last year.
Both sides agreed unanimously on the arrangement in October, with the oil and gas unit of GE taking a 62.5 percent stake in Baker Hughes for an entity with combined revenue of $32 billion. For Baker Hughes, it touted itself as a "new" company, while GE avoided the costs of a full acquisition.
Immelt said the company would be able to navigate through a market where crude oil prices are suppressing spending in some exploration and production sectors because of the global scale of GE's portfolio.
The oil and gas division of the company, however, posted revenue of $3.1 billion, a 3 percent decline from the same time last year. The $6.1 billion for the division for the first six months of the year was down 6 percent from the same period in 2016.
On the renewable energy front, the company announced at least $1.6 billion in acquisitions of wind power rivals and realized billions of dollars more in onshore wind orders in the United States alone. Last year, the company put its wind energy sector footprint on display at the Block Island wind farm, which became the first offshore wind farm in commercial service in the United States.
The renewable energy sector unit was the strongest for GE. For the quarter, the division yielded $2.5 billion in revenue, up 17 percent from the same period in 2016. Six-month revenue of $4.5 billion from renewable energy was up 20 percent from last year.