8:28 Generic hold music
8:31 Call starting, opening statements being read.
8:33 Jeff Immelt: Economy sucks, as everyone knows. But GE (GE) is holding its own.
8:34 Unemployment will go higher and commercial credit cycle will be difficult. Weak consumer and business confidence. We had more capacity to lend to our commercial customers than we had demand. Still seeing decent demand in China and Middle East.
8:36 Ahead of plans to take costs out of the business. Ratings agency downgrades aren’t a problem.
8:38 Talking order book. Nothing particularly remarkable in either direction. Health was weak.
8:40 China showing demand for green energy, smart grid, wind…
8:41 $16 billion cash flow run rate.
8:44 Slide 9. Demonstrating GE Capital’s helath. 6x leverage ratio. Both S&P and Moody’s are on stable outlook, so no likely change below AA+ for the next 6 months to two years.
8:48 CFO Keith Sherin picking through Q1 earnings in more detail.
8:50 Business transactions benefitted the company by $.03 per share.
8:51 Liquidity situation getting a lot better. Goal is to issue debt on a non-guaranteed basis this year.
8:58 Discussing writedowns and charge-offs. All going up, but all ostensibly within planning range. Lots of nitty gritty at this point.
8:59 Consumer delinquencies in North America is stable. Declining entry rates into delinqency. “A real positive sign in the card portfolio” Consumer delinquencies are worse in the UK.
9:04 Discussing non-performing assets. Company says it’s over-collateralized.
9:05 Evaluating being an investor in PPIP.
9:07 Now discussing media and NBC. In addition to challenging environment, the unit was hit by higher Super Bowl, certain issues with timing. Cable networks were solid. CNBC up 20%. MSNBC beating CNN in the morning.
9:10 Hulu is very successful. Now the 2nd video site. Super Bowl a $45 million one-time drag.
9:17 Discussing energy now. (This company has a lot of units)
9:18 Back to Immelt…
9:20 He feels good about the business. The stimulus. GE is good at services, etc. etc.
9:21 Q&A time
Q: Generic question about how to look at the whole company.
A: Immelt: We will do better than most on stimulus… Later on: more stimulus talk. May invest alongside government in a national energy bank.
Q: Will GE be affected by stress tests in any way?
A: No, we’re not a bank holding company. But, we want to hold ourselves to the same standards.
Q: Capital market availability
A: Getting better… starting to see some financials float unguaranteed debt.
Join us here starting at 8:30 for LIVE coverage of GE’s Q1 conference call. Initial earnings report can be found here. The link to the webcast is here. See the accompanying presentation materials below.
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