Earnings, adjusted for one-time costs and asset impairment costs, were 6 cents per share. That beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, who were calling for a loss of 6 cents per share.
Total costs and expenses dropped to $20.56 billion from $24.77 billion. “We are managing through a still-difficult environment with better operational execution across our businesses, and we are on track with our cost and cash actions," CEO H. Lawrence Culp Jr. said in a statement.
GE lowered its debt by $2.6 billion in the third quarter. For the year to date, it has reduced debt by $11.7 billion, including $8.1 billion in GE Industrial debt and $3.6 billion in GE Capital debt.
Quarterly revenue declined to $19.42 billion from $23.36 billion, but still topped the $19.15 billion that analysts predicted. Shares of General Electric Co. rose 62 cents, or 8.7%, to $7.72 in Wednesday morning trading.
Total orders dropped 31% to $15.5 billion. Earlier this month GE said that federal regulators may take action against it for possible violations of securities laws, signaling a new phase in ongoing federal investigations into the company’s accounting practices.
GE is the subject of several federal investigations. The SEC has been looking into the company’s $22 billion write-down of its power division, which was disclosed two years ago. The company has said that charge was related to GE’s acquisition of Alstom, a French power and grid business that GE acquired just before the gas turbine market peaked.
The SEC also has been investigating how GE took a $15 billion hit after a subsidiary, North American Life & Health, miscalculated the cost for the care of people who lived longer than projected.