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General Electric Co. (GE) is a US company that is actively involved in power generation equipments, aircraft engines, lighting, plastics, financial services, information and media. The company is composed of various business units like GE Commercial financial services, GE consumer Finance, GE Infrastructure, GE Industrial, GE Healthcare, and NBC Universal. In this write up the history of the company along with its present operations are studied in depth. The status and position of GE’s competitors has also been compared with GE’s performance. It will be seen that GE has to comply with various regulations of different countries as its operational sphere has been enlarged around the world, and also that the prospectus of the company are as bright as ever since its inception.
General Electric Co. is proud of bring founded by the legend and inventor of incandescent electric lamp Thomas Elva Edison in 1890 by bringing his various businesses together under the name of Edison General Electric Co. In 1892 the company joined its competitor Thomson Houston Company and reorganized themselves as General Electric Co. The company produced first electric fan in early 1890s and then a series heating and cooking devices came out in 1907. The company operated in number of businesses right from its inception in order to capitalize on opportunities. The most famous division of company GE Aircraft Engines even produced engine ‘boosters’ for US aviation industry as early as in 1917.
The company’s first GE Research Laboratory was started under the leadership of its first CEO Charles Coffin under guidance of an eminent industrial scientist Charles Steinmetz. GE scientists patented a number of products. Its scientist Irving Langmuir won Nobel prize in chemistry in 1932 and Ivar Giaever won again in physics in 1973. The company has now more than 3000 employees involved in research work in different parts of world.
Market of operations
The business segments of GE include technology (Energy Infrastructure and Technology Infrastructure), media (NBC Universal), and financial services worldwide (GE Capital). The company operates under industrial sector of Conglomerates. As per company’s profile at Yahoo.com1 ‘The GE Capital segment offers an array of products and services that include commercial loans, operating leases, fleet management, financial programs, home loans, insurance, credit cards, personal loans, and other financial services.
The Energy infrastructure sector involves in the development, implementation, and improvement of products and technologies that harness various resources, such as wind, oil, gas, and water. The Technological infrastructure segment focuses on building, healthcare, transportation, and technology infrastructure. The NBC Universal segment develops produces, and markets films, television, news, sports, and special events.’
The company faces direct competition from Citigroup Inc, Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV, Siemens AG, and other players in the conglomerates industry.
But GE is leader in revenue contributions ($180.38B) and net Income ($21.68B) in the industry as per last financial year figures provided at Yahoo.com. Competitors are giving real tuff time to GE as its ROE (18.66), and ROA (4.88) are much lower than its nearest rival Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (PHG) whose ROE and ROA are whopping 20.48 and 12.05 as per current financials provided at the internet site of AOL: Money & Finance2. But GE is Price Earning (P/E) ratio at 16.85 and dividend payout ratio of 55.86 are fantastic in the industry attracting investors whenever opportunity to invest arise.
The company is carrying on business under four segments in different countries. Accordingly GE has to comply with different regulations of different countries. In US the company has to mainly frame its financial statements as per the requirements of SEC, file periodic returns complying with various legislations like Sarbanes Oxley Act, 2002 and others. There are federal govt. regulations and the laws of different states to be complied with. Different states in US have promulgated different statutes where under GE is required complete formalities as a finance company/ energy infrastructure company/ media and entertainment company. As GE is also active in Europe, EU Antitrust laws are also applicable on its functioning.
Opportunities and other issues involved
GE has already widened its horizon across the world, and naturally opportunities are falling in its lap. GE has already shown its presence in economies like China, India, Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East, Latin America, and South East Asia.
All these are developing economies and with available opportunities for growth in these countries, GE is going to touch heights of its success. The Chairman and CEO Mr. Jeffery R. Immett’s report on company operations submitted in 2007 annual meeting3 stated that ‘GE has the broadest array of infrastructure, products, services and financing in the world. Our portfolio encompasses everything from aviation to transportation to water to oil and gas. When governments or customers consider making a multi- billion dollar investment in infrastructure, they know that GE has the strongest arsenal of products of any company of world.’ This statement explains everything about the future opportunities waiting for GE.
GE is a company with great infrastructural facilities spread all around the world. The company is executing its objectives through its segments of energy infrastructural technology, media, and financing services. The company’s performance speaks of high return on equities and high return on assets. Such returns are best in the industry of conglomerates. The company is providing attractive dividend payouts to its investors. There are immense future opportunities as the company has already spread its wings in the entire developing world.
- General Electric Co.(GE), Profile. 2008. Web.
- AOL money & finance, General Electric co.(GE) Top competitors, 2008. Web.
- Mr. Jeffery R. Immett, Report on company operations submitted in 2007 Annual meeting of GE, page 3. Web.