The oil and gas business was a big drag on General Electric's quarterly results. Fred Katayama reports.
Quarterly profit plunged 43 percent at General Electric as revenue slipped. Dragging down the top and bottom lines: GE's energy business. Oil and gas as well as its lighting business both fell sharply. As years of low oil prices heated up competition in the energy industry, GE last October moved to merge its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes. Earnings from continuing operations rose. Although overall orders were up, equipment orders and those from its core businesses declined. William Blair analyst Nick Heymann said, "The moderately lower-than-expected sales for most of GE's industrial businesses reflected more challenging emerging market conditions." There were bright spots: power and aviation, which provide the bulk of GE's revenue, both saw robust growth. GE shares, which have risen 6 percent since the election, fell in early trading.