GE CEO Jeff Immelt. Image courtesy of MerrillLynch/Youtube.

General Electric warned Tuesday its 2015 profit forecast is lower than initial analysts expectations as slumping oil prices curb demand for drilling equipment.

GE now expects 2015 earnings to be between $1.70 to $1.80 per share, slightly less than the $1.79 per share analysts had forecast.

“We’re really planning the company for a sluggish oil and gas sector in ’15,” GE chief executive Jeff Immelt said Tuesday.

The company is projecting a revenue drop at its oil and gas business but has not disclosed how large that drop is expected to be.

GE’s oil and gas business makes drilling, compression and other types of equipment.

The oil and gas unit made up just under 12 percent of GE’s total revenue in 2013 but has been rapidly expanding with $14 billion in deals made since 2007, Reuters said.

Despite falling oil prices GE said it plans to stay in the energy sector.

“We like it more at $120 a barrel, don’t get me wrong, but we like this business,” Immelt said.

GE plans to curb costs in various business units to bolster the company’s profit margins.

The company’s shares have fallen about 12.6 percent this year against increases for major U.S. stock benchmarks.


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