Lower NBCUniversal Stake Affects Second-Quarter Revenue at General Electric

The company, which owns a 49 percent stake in the entertainment company that is now controlled by Comcast, didn't detail NBCUniversal's quarterly results though.

NEW YORK – General Electric on Friday said that its second-quarter revenue declined 4 percent to $35.6 billion primarily due to its recent deal with cable giant Comcast that reduced its stake in entertainment company NBCUniversal from 80 percent to  49 percent.

Excluding NBCUniversal-related revenue for the latest and the year-ago period though, the industrial giant said its quarterly revenue was up 7 percent.

The earnings report didn't detail NBCUniversal's actual results for the quarter, but simply some figures about how GE is accounting for its financials.

An NBCUniversal spokesman said the information reported by GE doesn’t allow direct conclusions about the entertainment company’s financial performance, which Comcast will detail in its quarterly earnings report early next month.

For the first full quarter, during which cable giant Comcast owned a 51 percent majority in NBCUniversal, GE said it only accounted for $280 million in "NBCU-related" revenue. GE's year-ago revenue figure included NBCUni's full $3.75 billion in revenue.

"Consolidated revenues include revenues from NBCU operations prior to this transfer [of a stake to a Comcast joint venture] as well as the transaction related gain," GE said without providing further details.

In terms of the bottom line, GE only reported "corporate items and eliminations" that together amounted to a loss of $747 million in the second quarter. Its contribution from NBCUni results is included in that figure, but GE didn't say how big that contribution was or whether it was positive or negative.

In the first quarter, the sale of part of its stake in NBCUniversal, which happened at the end of January, added 4 cents to GE’s earnings per share.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai