GE missed its Q1, by a lot, and lowered estimates for 2008. GE tried to pin the blame on its financial services businesses, and in un-GE fashion, CEO Jeff Immelt made excuses, sounding distinctly like an ordinary American CEO .
GE’s problem obviously wasn’t entirely on the credit crunch. For example, NBC U was also a laggard. It posted revenue growth of 3% and profit growth of 3%; in January, GE had predicted 10% revenue growth and profit increases of 5-10%.
Two weeks before the end of the quarter, GE CEO Immelt did a webcast in which he said the quarter was great. Implication? Load up on the stock. And now everyone who did is hosed.
What happened? Jeff wants us to blame those nasty market conditions, the ones that were apparently unforeseeable two days before they occurred. Please. Jeff and GE shouldn’t compound this disaster by further damaging their already clobbered credibility. The credit crunch started last summer
We’re getting more colour during the company’s earnings call this am. The best-case scenario for the NBC U division: Jeff Zucker and company underestimated the effects of the writers strike. Worst-case scenario: It’s reflective of a larger decline in the advertising business.
UPDATE FROM CONFERENCE CALL: Pathetic GE: Blame Bear Stearns For Our Mess.
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