General Electric cuts profit outlook ahead of turnaround plan

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General Electric has slashed its profits guidance after posting a quarterly loss due to weak trading in two key divisions. The industrial group it unveiled a 5% fall in third quarter earnings to $1.8bn, sending its shares sharply lower before later recovering.

New chief executive John Flannery is due to announce a restructuring of the group next month. GE's divisions range from jet engines, oil, transport, healthcare and finance. A weak performance in its power and oil and gas businesses, plus higher-than- expected restructuring costs, were the main causes of the profit decline.

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Profit in the power business, which makes generators, turbines, and related equipment, fell 51% in the quarter. GE also cut its forecast for full-year operating profits to between $1.05 and $1.10 a share, compared with the estimate of $1.60-$1.70 a share it made in July.

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