General Electric Corp. yesterday reported 1976 earnings of $930 million ($4.12 a share), with the results reflecting the recent acquisition of Utah International, Inc., on a pooling-of-interest basis. This was up 34 per cent from last year's restated results of $930 million ($3.07).
And GE chairman Reginald H. Jones said that securities analysts' predictions of a 10 per cent earnings increase in 1977 were "probably not out of line" if "the economy works out to something like the projections. GE is expecting 5 per cent real growth and 5.5 per cent inflation for the U.S. economy in 1977.
The acquisition of Utah. An international natural resources company with significant coal and iron ore holdings, "added about 7 cents to our earnings per share for 1976," Jones told a news conference.
Jones said the earnings improvement was based on increases in almost all areas of GE's business, with "substantially higher earnings" in the consumer category, records in the industrial components and systems are, "somewhat higher" earnings for industrial power equipment (which includes steam and gas turbine-generators), and gains in aerospace and for the GE Credit Corp. Only nuclear power systems showed a loss, which GE had previously indicated.
Consolidated sales for the year climbed 11 per cent to $15.7 billion from $14.1 billion in 1975.
For the fourth quarter of 1976, GE earned $292 million ($1.29), up 16 per cent over the 1974 period when GE registered net income of $252 million ($1.12).
Dow Chemical Co., yesterday reported Thursday that its 1976 sales were up 15.6 per cent over a year ago, while net income was off 3 per cent.
Zoltan Merszei, Dow president and chief executive officer, said a major reason for the dip in profits was that "the prices we were able to obtain for our products did not make up for increases we encountered in raw material and energy costs."
"We expect our earnings in 1977 to be up 10 per cent in comparison to 1976. This would be in line with Dow's objective of averaging 10 per cent a year in earnings growth," Merszei added.
Sales in 1976 were $5.652 billion compared with $4.888 billion in 1975. Earnings were $612.8 million ($3.30) last year, down from $632.4 million ($3.41) in 1975.
Sales for the fourth quarter were $1.455 billion, up 13.8 per cent from the $1.278 billion posted in the final quarter of 1975. Earnings were $148.6 million (80 cents), down 2.2 per cent from $151.9 million (82 cents) reported in the same quarter of 1975.
UAL, Inc., parent of United Airlines, earned $20.44 million (81 cents a share) last year in contrast with a loss of $4.2 million in 1975. Operating revenues rose by 21.6 per cent to $2.93 billion from $2.409 billion in 1975.
However, in the final quarter, UAL lost $2.16 million. But this was a sharp improvement over the $24.72 million loss in the last quarter of 1975, caused mainly by a strike against the airline. Revenue was $2.929 billion compared with $2.409 billion a year earlier.
Chairman Edward Carlson said 1976 hotel operating earnings of $4.38 million were cut by a $1.33 million loss on currency translations. Airline profit was $17.36 million, but Carlson said that was not nearly enough to achieve a satisfactory return on investment.
A much-higher-than-expected level of discount travel in December had a major effect on fourth-quarter results, a spokesman for the airline said. Nearly 21 per cent of United's 48-state travel was on discount fares during December compared with less than 12 per cent in November.
Delta Air Lines yesterday said its net income rose by 88 per cent last year, to $79.4 million ($4 a share) from $42.2 million ($2.12) in 1975.
In the last quarter of the year, however, profits declined by 3 per cent from the same quarter a year earlier, totaling $18.4 million (93 cents).
Part of the stronger performance at the end of 1975 was due to a strike against two of Delta's major competitors in the final quarter of the year.
Senior vice president Robert Oppenlander said the higher earnings were due in part to aircraft sales of $15 million and to $11.3 million from the translation of foreign debt repayable in pounds sterling.
The board of directors declared a cash dividend of 17 1/2 cents a share payable Mar. 1 to stockholders of record on Feb. 7.
NCR Corp., a computer concern, yesterday said its fourth-quarter earnings rose by 125 per cent to record levels, while 1976 net income reached an all-time high on a gain of 32 per cent.
The company had fourth-quarter net income of $38.9 million ($1.41), up from $17.3 million (68 cents) a year earlier. Sales increased by 10 per cent to $715.8 million, from $648.6 million, reflecting greater-than-expected domestic and overseas shipments.
Twelve-month earnings amounted to $95.6 million ($3.60) compared with $72.5 million ($2.90). Sales reached a new high of $2.3 billion, up 7 per cent from the $2.1 billion recorded in 1975.
General Tire & Rubber Co., the country's fifth largest tire manufacturer, yesterday reported improved fourth-quarter earnings over a year ago.
The company said net income rose to $27.5 million ($1.26 a share) from $20.2 million (92 cents) a year ago. Sales totaled $550.2 million versus $477.1 million.
For the year, net income was $104.7 million ($4.78) versus $62.4 million ($2.82). Sales totaled $2.02 billion compared with $1.75 billion the previous year.