General Electric Co. (GE:US)’s industrial businesses will consider takeovers as the company targets 70 percent of sales in the sector, according to the executive in charge of its unit that manufactures wind-, steam- and gas-powered electrical turbines.
“You will continue to see acquisitions, like you saw from GE just in the last three weeks,” said Steve Bolze, chief executive officer of GE Power & Water, in an interview on Bloomberg Television from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland today. “You will see some in Power & Water going forward.”
In April, the world’s largest maker of jet engines and medical scanners agreed to purchase Lufkin Industries Inc., a maker of oilfield machinery, for $3.3 billion to bolster its rapidly growing oil and gas division. In December 2012, it agreed to acquire Avio SpA’s aerospace business for $4.3 billion, adding a supplier of jet-engine components to its aviation unit.
The power unit is the largest industrial division of GE, with $24.7 billion in 2013 sales. Equipment orders climbed 81 percent in the fourth quarter to $6.4 billion, including a $700 million sale of gas turbines to Saudi Electricity Co.
Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said orders were a show of “real strength” for the division, during a Jan. 17 conference call with analysts after GE reported fourth-quarter earnings that matched (GE:US) analysts’ estimates. Industrial profit is forecast to grow at a “double-digit” pace in 2014 as Immelt focuses on shrinking the share of earnings obtained from the company’s financial arm.
GE has gained 19 percent in the 12 months through yesterday, compared (GE:US) with a 24 percent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
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