GE [NYSE: GE] announced today first-quarter 2014 operating earnings of $3.3 billion, with operating earnings per share of $0.33, down 15% from the first quarter of 2013. Excluding the 2013 NBCUniversal impact and restructuring and other charges, operating EPS was up 9% from the year-ago period. GAAP earnings from continuing operations were $3.0 billion, with earnings per share of $0.29, down 17%. Revenues were $34.2 billion for the quarter, down 2% from the year-ago period.
"We had strong results in the first quarter in most of our markets, including Power & Water, Aviation, Oil & Gas, and GE Capital," said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. "The environment was generally positive, and we executed on our operational priorities with strong organic growth, margin enhancement, and solid cash generation."
Industrial segment profits rose 12% to $3.3 billion. Industrial segment margins improved 50 basis points over the prior-year period. Industrial segment revenues grew 8%, with organic growth of 8%. Growth market revenues were up 7% for the quarter, with double-digit growth in five of nine growth regions. Services revenues grew 3%, with double-digit growth in Aviation and Oil & Gas. Equipment revenues grew 12%, on strong new product introductions and solid share positions. The breadth of the GE portfolio was reflected in the quarter as the Company offset market volatility in Appliances, Healthcare, and Mining.
Infrastructure orders for the quarter were $23.7 billion, flat with the year-ago period. GE's backlog of equipment and services at the end of the quarter was $245 billion, with increases in every segment over the year-ago period. During the quarter, Transnet placed an order for 233 advanced Evolution Series locomotives, valued at approximately $0.7 billion, and Air France-KLM announced the selection of GEnx engines, valued at $1.7 billion at list price, for 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. GE also unveiled the world's largest and most efficient gas turbines, the 9HA and 7HA, with combined cycle efficiencies better than 61%.
GE Capital earnings were flat, with ENI (excluding cash and equivalents) at $374 billion at quarter-end, down $7 billion from last quarter. General Electric Capital Corporation's (GECC) estimated Tier 1 common ratio (Basel 1) rose 32 basis points to 11.4%, and net interest margin was strong at 4.9%. During the quarter, GECC paid $500 million in dividends to the parent. Also during the quarter, GE filed a registration statement with the SEC for the IPO of its North American Retail Finance business, the first step in a planned, staged exit from that business.
The Company made good progress in accelerating efforts to achieve its simplification goals. GE is on track to achieve its goal of $1 billion or more in structural cost-out for the year. Industrial structural costs in the first quarter were down $254 million versus the prior-year period, driven by simplification initiatives and benefits from restructuring investments.
Cash from operating activities (CFOA) was $1.7 billion. GE ended the quarter with $87 billion of consolidated cash and cash equivalents. The Company returned $3.4 billion to shareowners in the first quarter, including $2.2 billion of dividends and $1.2 billion of stock buyback. GE also announced $2 billion of acquisitions during the quarter in Oil & Gas and Healthcare.
Immelt concluded, "We're off to a good start to the year, and our 2014 framework remains unchanged. The environment is consistent with our expectations, with a positive bias. The GE team is executing with strong organic growth, consistent margin enhancement, cash growth with disciplined allocation, and a stronger GE Capital. We are on track for our Retail Finance IPO and remain committed to a GE that has 70% of our earnings from the Industrial businesses. GE is in good shape."
First-quarter operating earnings were $3.3 billion, down 18% from first-quarter 2013, and operating EPS was $0.33, down 15%. GAAP earnings from continuing operations (attributable to GE) were $3.0 billion, down 18%, or $0.29 per share, down 17% from the first quarter of 2013.
Including the effects of discontinued operations, first-quarter net earnings attributable to GE were $3.0 billion ($0.30 per share) in the first quarter of 2014 compared with $3.5 billion ($0.34 per share) in the first quarter of 2013.
First-quarter revenues decreased 2% to $34.2 billion. Industrial sales of $24 billion increased 8% compared to the first quarter of 2013. GECC revenues of $10.5 billion decreased 8% from last year.
Cash generated from GE operating activities in the first quarter of 2014 totaled $1.7 billion. Cash generated from Industrial operating activities totaled $1.2 billion.
The accompanying tables include information integral to assessing the Company's financial position, operating performance and cash flow.
GE will discuss preliminary first-quarter results on a webcast at 8:30 a.m. ET today, available at www.ge.com/investor. Related charts are now posted on our website for your review prior to the call.