ge10k.htm

United States Securities and Exchange Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K

(Mark One)
þ Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011
or
¨ Transition Report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
 
For the transition period from ___________to ___________
 
Commission file number 001-00035
 
General Electric Company
(Exact name of registrant as specified in charter)

New York
     
14-0689340
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
     
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
         
3135 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield, CT
 
06828-0001
 
203/373-2211
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
 
(Telephone No.)
         
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common stock, par value $0.06 per share
 
New York Stock Exchange

Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
 
(Title of class)

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ¨ No þ
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No þ
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No ¨
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes þ No ¨
 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. þ
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
 
Large accelerated filer þ
Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer ¨
Smaller reporting company ¨
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ¨ No þ
 
The aggregate market value of the outstanding common equity of the registrant not held by affiliates as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter was at least $201.5 billion. There were 10,581,257,000 shares of voting common stock with a par value of $0.06 outstanding at February 3, 2012.
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
 
The definitive proxy statement relating to the registrant’s Annual Meeting of Shareowners, to be held April 25, 2012, is incorporated by reference into Part III to the extent described therein.

 
(1)

 

Table of Contents
 
   
Page
Part I
 
     
Business
3
Risk Factors
15
Unresolved Staff Comments
20
Properties
20
Legal Proceedings
20
Mine Safety Disclosures
21
   
Part II
 
     
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer
 
 
Purchases of Equity Securities
22
Selected Financial Data
25
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
26
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
87
Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
87
Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting
 
 
and Financial Disclosure
192
Controls and Procedures
192
Other Information
193
   
Part III
 
     
Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
193
Executive Compensation
193
Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and
 
 
Related Stockholder Matters
194
Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
194
Principal Accounting Fees and Services
194
   
Part IV
 
     
Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
194
     
 Signatures     200
   


 
(2)

 


 
Part I
 
 
Item 1. Business
 
General
 
Unless otherwise indicated by the context, we use the terms “GE,” “GECS” and “GECC” on the basis of consolidation described in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report. Also, unless otherwise indicated by the context, “General Electric” means the parent company, General Electric Company (the Company).

General Electric’s address is 1 River Road, Schenectady, NY 12345-6999; we also maintain executive offices at 3135 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield, CT 06828-0001.

We are one of the largest and most diversified technology and financial services corporations in the world. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing, and household appliances to medical imaging, business and consumer financing and industrial products, we serve customers in more than 100 countries and employ approximately 301,000 people worldwide. Prior to January 28, 2011, we also operated a media company, NBC Universal, Inc. (NBCU). Effective January 28, 2011, we hold a 49% interest in a media entity that includes the NBC Universal businesses. See the GE Corporate Items and Eliminations section of this Item for additional information. Since our incorporation in 1892, we have developed or acquired new technologies and services that have broadened and changed considerably the scope of our activities.

In virtually all of our global business activities, we encounter aggressive and able competition. In many instances, the competitive climate is characterized by changing technology that requires continuing research and development. With respect to manufacturing operations, we believe that, in general, we are one of the leading firms in most of the major industries in which we participate. The NBC Television Network, which became part of the media entity referred to above as of January 28, 2011, is a major U.S. commercial broadcast television network. NBC Universal also competes with other film and television programming producers and distributors, cable/satellite television networks and theme park operators. The businesses in which GECS engages are subject to competition from various types of financial institutions, including commercial banks, thrifts, investment banks, broker-dealers, credit unions, leasing companies, consumer loan companies, independent finance companies and finance companies associated with manufacturers.

On February 22, 2012, we merged our wholly-owned subsidiary, GECS, with and into GECS’ wholly-owned subsidiary, GECC.  The merger simplified our financial services’ corporate structure by consolidating financial services entities and assets within our organization and simplifying Securities and Exchange Commission and regulatory reporting. Upon the merger, GECC became the surviving corporation and assumed all of GECS’ rights and obligations and became wholly-owned directly by General Electric. Our financial services segment, GE Capital, will continue to comprise the continuing operations of GECC, which now includes the run-off insurance operations previously held and managed in GECS. References to GECS, GECC and the GE Capital segment in this Form 10-K Report relate to the entities or segment as they existed during 2011 and do not reflect the February 22, 2012 merger.

 
(3)

 

This document contains “forward-looking statements” – that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance and financial condition, and often contain words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “see,” or “will.” Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For us, particular uncertainties that could cause our actual results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements include: current economic and financial conditions, including volatility in interest and exchange rates, commodity and equity prices and the value of financial assets; potential market disruptions or other impacts arising in the United States or Europe from developments in the European sovereign debt situation; the impact of conditions in the financial and credit markets on the availability and cost of General Electric Capital Corporation’s (GECC) funding and on our ability to reduce GECC’s asset levels as planned; the impact of conditions in the housing market and unemployment rates on the level of commercial and consumer credit defaults; changes in Japanese consumer behavior that may affect our estimates of liability for excess interest refund claims (Grey Zone); our ability to maintain our current credit rating and the impact on our funding costs and competitive position if we do not do so; the adequacy of our cash flow and earnings and other conditions which may affect our ability to pay our quarterly dividend at the planned level; the level of demand and financial performance of the major industries we serve, including, without limitation, air and rail transportation, energy generation, real estate and healthcare; the impact of regulation and regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks, including the impact of financial services regulation; strategic actions, including acquisitions, joint ventures and dispositions and our success in completing announced transactions and integrating acquired businesses; the impact of potential information technology or data security breaches; and numerous other matters of national, regional and global scale, including those of a political, economic, business and competitive nature. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements. These uncertainties are described in more detail in Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” of this Form 10-K Report. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.

Operating Segments
 
Segment revenue and profit information and additional financial data and commentary on recent financial results for operating segments are provided in the Segment Operations section in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and in Note 28 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

Operating businesses that are reported as segments include Energy Infrastructure, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation, Home & Business Solutions and GE Capital. Net earnings of GECS and the effect of transactions between segments are eliminated to arrive at total consolidated data. A summary description of each of our operating segments follows.

Effective January 1, 2011, we reorganized the former Technology Infrastructure segment into three segments – Aviation, Healthcare and Transportation. The results of the Aviation, Healthcare and Transportation businesses were unaffected by this reorganization and we began reporting these as separate segments beginning with our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2011. Results for 2011 and prior periods in this Form 10-K Report are reported on this basis.

On February 22, 2012, we merged our wholly-owned subsidiary, GECS, with and into GECS’ wholly-owned subsidiary, GECC.  Our financial services segment, GE Capital, will continue to comprise the continuing operations of GECC, which now includes the run-off insurance operations previously held and managed in GECS. References to the GE Capital segment in this Form 10-K Report relate to the segment as it existed during 2011 and does not reflect the February 22, 2012 merger.

We also continue our longstanding practice of providing supplemental information for certain businesses within the segments.

 
(4)

 

Energy Infrastructure
 
Energy Infrastructure (29.7%, 25.1% and 26.3% of consolidated revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively) is a leader in the field of development, implementation and improvement of products and technologies that harness resources such as wind, oil, gas and water.

Our operations are located in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

To better serve Oil & Gas customers, Energy’s Measurement & Control business was moved to Oil & Gas in October 2011. Measurement & Control addresses sensor-based measurement, inspection, asset condition monitoring and controls needs. In addition, three business units from Energy’s acquisition of Dresser were also transferred to Oil & Gas in 2011.  Prior period results for Energy and Oil & Gas are presented on this basis.

Energy
 
Energy serves power generation, industrial, government and other customers worldwide with products and services related to energy production, distribution and management. We offer wind turbines as part of our renewable energy portfolio, which also includes solar technology. We also sell aircraft engine derivatives for use as industrial power sources. We sell gas turbines and generators that are used principally in power plants for generation of electricity and for industrial cogeneration and mechanical drive applications. We are a leading provider of Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology design and development. IGCC systems convert coal and other hydrocarbons into synthetic gas that is used as the primary fuel for gas turbines in combined-cycle systems. IGCC systems produce fewer air pollutants compared with traditional pulverized coal power plants. We sell steam turbines and generators to the electric utility industry and to private industrial customers for cogeneration applications. Nuclear reactors, fuel and support services for both new and installed boiling water reactors are offered through joint ventures with Hitachi and Toshiba. In addition, we design and manufacture motors and control systems used in industrial applications primarily for oil and gas extraction and mining. We provide our customers with solutions to meet their needs through a broad portfolio of aftermarket services, including equipment upgrades, long-term maintenance service agreements, repairs, equipment installation, monitoring and diagnostics, asset management and performance optimization tools, remote performance testing and Dry Low NOx (DLN) tuning. We continue to invest in advanced technology development that will provide more value to our customers and more efficient solutions that comply with today’s strict environmental regulations.

Energy also offers water treatment solutions for industrial and municipal water systems including the supply and related services of specialty chemicals, water purification systems, pumps, valves, filters and fluid handling equipment for improving the performance of water, wastewater and process systems, including mobile treatment systems and desalination processes.

On February 1, 2011, March 2, 2011 and September 2, 2011, we completed the acquisitions of Dresser, Inc., Lineage Power Holdings, Inc. (Lineage Power) and Converteam, respectively.  The Dresser acquisition broadens the product portfolio with technologies for gas engines. The acquisition of Lineage Power, a provider of high-efficiency power conversion infrastructure technology and services for the telecommunications and datacenter industries, continues the expansion of Energy’s offerings from the electric grid to datacenters, cell towers, routers, servers and circuit board electronics. Converteam, a provider of electrification and automation equipment and systems, adds significant product and service capabilities in power electronics, industrial automation and process controls.

In addition, Energy provides integrated electrical equipment and systems used to distribute, protect and control energy and equipment. We manufacture and distribute electrical distribution and control products, lighting and power panels, switchgear and circuit breakers that are used to distribute and manage power in a variety of residential, commercial, consumer and industrial applications. We also provide customer-focused solutions centered on the delivery and control of electric power, and market a wide variety of commercial lighting systems. Energy also provides protection and control, communications, power sensing and power quality products and services that increase the reliability of electrical power networks and critical equipment and offering wireless data transmission.

 
(5)

 

Energy is party to revenue sharing programs that share the financial results of certain aeroderivative lines. These businesses are controlled by Energy, but counterparties have an agreed share of revenues as well as development and component production responsibilities. At December 31, 2011, such counterparty interests ranged from 17% to 48% of various programs; associated distributions to such counterparties are accounted for as costs of production.

Worldwide competition for power generation products and services is intense. Demand for power generation is global and, as a result, is sensitive to the economic and political environment of each country in which we do business. The balance of regional growth and demand side management are important factors to evaluate as we plan for future development.

Oil & Gas
 
Our technology helps oil and gas companies make more efficient and sustainable use of the world's energy resources.

Oil & Gas supplies mission critical equipment for the global oil and gas industry, used in applications spanning the entire value chain from drilling and completion through production, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and pipeline compression, pipeline inspection, and including downstream processing in refineries and petrochemical plants. The business designs and manufactures surface and subsea drilling and production systems, equipment for floating production platforms, compressors, turbines, turboexpanders, high pressure reactors, industrial power generation and a broad portfolio of auxiliary equipment.

To ensure that the installed base is maintained at peak condition, our service business has over 40 service centers and workshops in the world's main oil and gas extraction and production regions. The business also provides upgrades to customers’ machines, using the latest available technology, to extend production capability and environmental performance. We also provide pipeline integrity solutions, sensor-based measurement, inspection, asset condition monitoring, controls, and radiation measurement solutions. Oil & Gas also offers integrated solutions using sensors for temperature, pressure, moisture, gas and flow rate as well as non-destructive testing inspection equipment, including radiographic, ultrasonic, remote visual and eddy current.

On February 4, 2011 and April 26, 2011, we completed the acquisitions of Wellstream PLC and the Well Support division of John Wood Group PLC, respectively.  Wellstream PLC expands the Oil & Gas portfolio with flexible subsea risers and flow lines. The Well Support division of John Wood Group PLC adds equipment, including electrical submersible pumps, that helps extract more oil and gas from mature fields. On February 1, 2011, we completed the acquisition of Dresser, Inc. which broadens the Oil & Gas product portfolio in control and relief valves, measurement, regulation and control solutions for gas and fuel distributions.

For information about orders and backlog, see the Segment Operations section in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Form 10-K Report.

Aviation
 
Aviation (12.8%, 11.8% and 12.1% of consolidated revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively) is one of the world’s leading providers of jet engines and related services with operations in North America, Europe, Asia and South America.

Aviation produces, sells and services jet engines, turboprop and turbo shaft engines, and related replacement parts for use in military and commercial aircraft. Our military engines are used in a wide variety of aircraft including fighters, bombers, tankers, helicopters and surveillance aircraft, as well as marine applications, and our commercial engines power aircraft in all categories of range: short/medium, intermediate and long-range, as well as executive and regional aircraft. We also produce and market engines through CFM International, a company jointly owned by GE and Snecma, a subsidiary of SAFRAN of France, and Engine Alliance, LLC, a company jointly owned by GE and the Pratt & Whitney division of United Technologies Corporation. New engines are also being designed and marketed in joint ventures with Rolls-Royce Group plc and Honda Aero, Inc., a division of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

 
(6)

 

Aviation is party to agreements in which the financial results, as well as production responsibilities, of certain aircraft and marine engine lines are shared. These agreements take the form of both joint ventures and revenue sharing programs.

Joint ventures market and sell particular aircraft engine lines, but require negligible direct investment because the venture parties conduct essentially all of the development, production, assembly and aftermarket support activities. Under these agreements, Aviation supplies certain engine components and retains related intellectual property rights. The CFM56 engine line is the product of CFM International and the GP7000 engine line is the product of Engine Alliance, LLC.

Revenue sharing programs are a standard form of cooperation for specific product programs in the aviation industry. These businesses are controlled by Aviation, but counterparties have an agreed share of revenues as well as development and component production responsibilities. At December 31, 2011, such counterparty interests ranged from 2% to 49% of various programs; associated distributions to such counterparties are accounted for as costs of production.

Aviation also produces global aerospace systems and equipment, including airborne platform computing systems, power generation and distribution products, mechanical actuation products and landing gear, plus various engine components for use in both military and commercial aircraft.

We provide maintenance, component repair and overhaul services (MRO), including sales of replacement parts for many models of engines and repair and overhaul of engines manufactured by competitors. These MRO services are often provided under long-term maintenance contracts.

The worldwide competition in aircraft jet engines and MRO (including parts sales) is intense. Both U.S. and export markets are important. Product development cycles are long and product quality and efficiency are critical to success. Research and development expenditures are important in this business, as are focused intellectual property strategies and protection of key aircraft engine design, manufacture, repair and product upgrade technologies. Our products and services are subject to a number of regulatory standards.

Potential sales for any engine are limited by, among other things, its technological lifetime, which may vary considerably depending upon the rate of advance in technology, the small number of potential customers and the limited number of relevant airframe applications. Aircraft engine orders tend to follow military and airline procurement cycles, although these cycles differ from each other.

For information about orders and backlog, see the Segment Operations section in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Form 10-K Report.

Healthcare
 
Healthcare (12.3%, 11.3% and 10.4% of consolidated revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively) is one of the world’s leading providers of essential healthcare technologies to developed, developing and emerging countries.  Our operations are located in North America, Europe, Asia and South America.

 
(7)

 

Healthcare has expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, disease research, drug discovery and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. We are dedicated to predicting and detecting disease earlier, monitoring its progress and informing physicians, and helping physicians tailor treatment for patients. Healthcare manufactures, sells and services a wide range of medical equipment that helps provide a fast, non-invasive way for doctors to see broken bones, diagnose trauma cases in the emergency room, view the heart and its function, and identify early stages of cancers or brain disorders. With diagnostic imaging systems such as Magnetic Resonance (MR), Computed Tomography (CT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners, X-ray, nuclear imaging, digital mammography, and Molecular Imaging technologies, Healthcare creates products that allow clinicians to see inside the human body more clearly than ever. In addition, Healthcare-manufactured technologies include patient and resident monitoring, diagnostic cardiology, ultrasound, bone densitometry, anesthesiology and oxygen therapy, and neonatal and critical care devices. Medical diagnostics and life sciences products include diagnostic imaging agents used in medical scanning procedures, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing and purification, and tools for protein and cellular analysis for pharmaceutical and academic research, including existing and a pipeline of precision molecular diagnostics in development for neurology, cardiology and oncology applications.

Our product services include remote diagnostic and repair services for medical equipment manufactured by GE and by others, as well as computerized data management, information technologies and customer productivity services.

We compete with a variety of U.S. and non-U.S. manufacturers and services operations. Technological competence and innovation, excellence in design, high product performance, quality of services and competitive pricing are among the key factors affecting competition for these products and services. Products and services are sold worldwide primarily to hospitals, medical facilities, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and to the life science research market.

Throughout the world, we deliver healthymagination solutions that provide greater efficiency to help control costs, better quality to improve patient outcomes, and extended access to healthcare for patients in underserved markets.

Our products are subject to regulation by numerous government agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA), as well as various laws that apply to claims submitted under Medicare, Medicaid or other government funded healthcare programs.

For information about orders and backlog, see the Segment Operations section in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Form 10-K Report.

Transportation
 
Transportation (3.3%, 2.3% and 2.5% of consolidated revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively) provides technology solutions for customers in a variety of industries including railroad, transit, mining, oil and gas, power generation and marine. We serve customers in more than 100 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

Transportation manufactures high-horsepower diesel-electric locomotives, including the Evolution Series™, the most technologically advanced and most fuel efficient locomotive, which meets or exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier II requirements. We also offer leading drive technology solutions to the mining, transit, marine and stationary, and drilling industries. Our motors operate in thousands of applications, from electrical drive systems for large haulage trucks used in the mining industry to transit cars and drilling rigs, and our engines are used for marine power as well as stationary power generation applications.

 
(8)

 

Transportation also provides a portfolio of service offerings designed to improve fleet efficiency and reduce operating expenses, including repair services, locomotive enhancements, modernizations, and information-based services like remote monitoring and diagnostics. We provide train control products, railway management services, and signaling systems to increase service levels, optimize asset utilization, and streamline operations for railroad owners and operators. We deliver leading edge tools that improve asset availability and reliability, optimize network planning, and control network execution to plan.

For information about orders and backlog, see the Segment Operations section in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Form 10-K Report.

 
Home & Business Solutions
 
Home & Business Solutions (5.7%, 5.8% and 5.5% of consolidated revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively) sells products that share several characteristics − competitive design, efficient manufacturing and effective distribution and service. Cost control, including productivity, is key in the highly competitive markets in which we compete. We also invest in the development of differentiated, premium products that are more profitable such as energy efficient solutions for both consumers and businesses. Home & Business Solutions’ products such as major appliances and a subset of lighting products are primarily directed to consumer applications, while other lighting products and automation solutions are directed towards commercial and industrial applications.

Appliances and Lighting
 
We sell and service major home appliances including refrigerators, freezers, electric and gas ranges, cooktops, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, microwave ovens, room air conditioners, residential water systems for filtration, softening and heating, and hybrid water heaters. Brands are GE Monogram®, GE Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint® and GE Café™. We manufacture certain products and also source finished product and component parts from third-party global manufacturers. A large portion of our appliances sales are through a variety of retail outlets for replacement of installed units. Residential building contractors installing units in new construction is our second major U.S. channel. We offer one of the largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) service organizations in the appliances industry, providing in-home repair and aftermarket parts.

We also manufacture, source and sell a variety of lamp products for commercial, industrial and consumer markets, including full lines of incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, light-emitting diode, automotive and miniature products.

Intelligent Platforms
 
Intelligent Platforms provides plant automation, hardware, software and embedded computing systems including advanced software, controllers, embedded systems, motion control and operator interfaces.

We have global operations located in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

GE Capital
 
GE Capital (31.0%, 31.0% and 31.7% of consolidated revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively) businesses offer a broad range of financial services and products worldwide for businesses of all sizes. Services include commercial loans and leases, fleet management, financial programs, home loans, credit cards, personal loans and other financial services. GE Capital also develops strategic partnerships and joint ventures that utilize GE’s industry-specific expertise in aviation, energy, infrastructure, healthcare and media to capitalize on market-specific opportunities.

During 2011, GE Capital provided approximately $104 billion of new financings in the U.S. to various companies, infrastructure projects and municipalities. Additionally, we extended approximately $87 billion of credit to approximately 56 million U.S. consumers. GE Capital provided credit to approximately 19,600 new commercial customers and 37,000 new small businesses in the U.S. during 2011 and ended the period with outstanding credit to more than 284,000 commercial customers and 191,000 small businesses through retail programs in the U.S.

 
(9)

 

Within our GE Capital operating segment, we operate the businesses described below along product lines.

Our operations are located in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

GE Capital has communicated its goal of reducing its ending net investment (ENI). To achieve this goal, we are more aggressively focusing our businesses on selective financial services products where we have domain knowledge, broad distribution, and the ability to earn a consistent return on capital, while managing our overall balance sheet size and risk. We have a strategy of exiting those businesses where we are underperforming or that are deemed to be non-strategic. We have completed a number of dispositions in our businesses in the past and will continue to evaluate options going forward.

Commercial Lending and Leasing (CLL)
 
CLL provides customers around the world with a broad range of financing solutions. We have particular mid-market expertise, and primarily offer collateralized loans, leases and other financial services to customers, including manufacturers, distributors and end-users for a variety of equipment and major capital assets. These assets include industrial-related facilities and equipment; vehicles; corporate aircraft; and equipment used in many industries, including the construction, manufacturing, transportation, media, communications, entertainment and healthcare industries.

In December 2011, we announced that GE Capital Financial Inc., our industrial bank, is acquiring MetLife’s U.S. retail deposit business, which is an established online bank with approximately $7.5 billion in U.S. retail deposits that will allow CLL to better serve its middle-market commercial customers.  The transaction is targeted to close in mid-2012 pending regulatory approval.

In 2011, we completed the sale of our CLL marine container leasing business, which consists of our controlling interests in the GE SeaCo joint venture along with other owned marine container assets, and our CLL trailer fleet services business in Mexico.

During 2009, we acquired a 100% ownership interest in Interbanca S.p.A., an Italian corporate bank in exchange for the Consumer businesses in Austria and Finland, our credit card and auto businesses in the U.K. and our credit card business in Ireland.

In the first quarter of 2009, we deconsolidated Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. (PTL) following our sale of a partial interest in a limited partnership in PTL.

We operate in a highly competitive environment. Our competitors include commercial banks, investment banks, leasing companies, financing companies associated with manufacturers, and independent finance companies. Competition related to our lending and leasing operations is based on price, that is, interest rates and fees, as well as deal structure and terms. More recently, there has been a disruption in the capital markets and in access to and availability of capital as well as the exit of some competitors. Profitability is affected not only by broad economic conditions that affect customer credit quality and the availability and cost of capital funding, but also by successful management of credit risk, operating risk and market risks such as interest rate and currency exchange risks. Success requires high quality risk management systems, customer and industry specific knowledge, diversification, service and distribution channels, strong collateral and asset management knowledge, deal structuring expertise and the ability to reduce costs through technology and productivity.

Consumer
 
Consumer, through consolidated entities and associated companies, is a leading provider of financial services to consumers and retailers around the world. We offer a full range of financial products to suit customers’ needs. These products include, on a global basis, private-label credit cards; personal loans; bank cards; auto loans and leases; mortgages; debt consolidation; home equity loans; deposit and other savings products; and small and medium enterprise lending.

 
(10)

 

In 2011, we entered into agreements to sell our Consumer Singapore business and our Consumer home lending operations in Australia and New Zealand (Australian Home Lending) and classified them as discontinued operations.  Both dispositions were completed during 2011.

In the first quarter of 2011, we sold a substantial portion of our Garanti Bank equity investment.  Following the sale, we hold a 2.25% equity ownership interest, which is classified as an available-for-sale security.

In 2010, we entered into agreements to sell our U.S. recreational vehicle and marine equipment financing portfolio (Consumer RV Marine) and Consumer Mexico and classified them as discontinued operations. Both dispositions were completed during 2011.

Also, in 2010, we committed to sell our Consumer business in Canada, which was completed during 2011; and we purchased sales finance portfolios from Citi Retail Partner Cards, which provides consumer financing programs and related services to small to mid-sized retailers and dealers.

In 2009, we completed the sale of our Consumer businesses in Austria and Finland, the credit card and auto businesses in the U.K., and the credit card business in Ireland in exchange for a 100% ownership in Interbanca S.p.A. Also in 2009, we completed the sale of a portion of our Australian residential mortgage business.

In June 2009, we increased our ownership to a controlling interest in BAC Credomatic GECF Inc. (BAC) and, in December 2010, completed the sale of BAC. BAC has been classified as a discontinued operation.

Our operations are subject to a variety of bank and consumer protection regulations. Further, a number of countries have ceilings on rates chargeable to consumers in financial service transactions. We are subject to competition from various types of financial institutions including commercial banks, leasing companies, consumer loan companies, independent finance companies, finance companies associated with manufacturers, and insurance companies. Industry participants compete on the basis of price, servicing capability, promotional marketing, risk management, and cross selling. The markets in which we operate are also subject to the risks from fluctuations in retail sales, interest and currency exchange rates, and the consumer’s capacity to repay debt.

Real Estate
 
Real Estate offers a range of capital and investment solutions, including equity capital for acquisition or development, as well as fixed and floating rate mortgages for new acquisitions or re-capitalizations of commercial real estate worldwide. Our business finances, with both equity and loan structures, the acquisition, refinancing and renovation of office buildings, apartment buildings, retail facilities, hotels, parking facilities and industrial properties. Our typical real estate loans are intermediate term, senior, fixed or floating-rate, and are secured by existing income-producing commercial properties. We invest in, and provide restructuring financing for, portfolios of commercial mortgage loans, limited partnerships and tax-exempt bonds.

We own and operate a global portfolio of real estate with the objective of maximizing property cash flows and asset values. In the normal course of our business operations, we sell certain real estate equity investments when it is economically advantageous for us to do so. However, as real estate values are affected by certain forces beyond our control (e.g., market fundamentals and demographic conditions), it is difficult to predict with certainty the level of future sales, sales prices, impairments or write-offs.

Our competitors include banks, financial institutions, real estate companies, real estate investment funds and other financial companies. Competition in our equity investment business is primarily based on price, and competition in our lending business is primarily based on interest rates and fees, as well as deal structure and terms. As we compete globally, our success is sensitive to the economic and political environment of each country in which we do business.

 
(11)

 

Energy Financial Services
 
Energy Financial Services invests in long-lived, capital-intensive energy projects and companies by providing structured equity, debt, leasing, partnership financing, project finance and broad-based commercial finance. We also invest in early-to-later-stage companies that are pursuing new technologies and services in the energy industry. In May 2010, we sold our general partnership interest in Regency Energy Partners L.P. (Regency), a midstream natural gas services provider, and retained a limited partnership interest. This resulted in the deconsolidation of Regency.

We operate in a highly competitive environment. Our competitors include banks, financial institutions, energy companies, and other finance and leasing companies. Competition is primarily based on price, that is, interest rates and fees, as well as deal structure and terms. As we compete globally, our success is sensitive to the economic and political environment of each country in which we do business.

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
 
GECAS engages in commercial aircraft leasing and finance, delivering fleet and financing services to companies across the spectrum of the aviation industry. Our product offerings include leases and secured loans on commercial passenger aircraft, freighters and regional jets; engine leasing and financing services; aircraft parts solutions; and airport equity and debt financing. We also co-sponsor an infrastructure private equity fund, which invests in large infrastructure projects including gateway airports.

We operate in a highly competitive environment. Our competitors include aircraft manufacturers, banks, financial institutions, equity investors, and other finance and leasing companies. Competition is based on lease rate financing terms, aircraft delivery dates, condition and availability, as well as available capital demand for financing.

GECC Corporate Items and Eliminations
 
GECC Corporate Items and Eliminations primarily include unallocated Treasury and Tax operations; Trinity, a group of sponsored special purpose entities; the effects of eliminating transactions between GE Capital’s five operating businesses; underabsorbed corporate overhead; and certain non-allocated amounts determined by the GECC Chairman.

GE Corporate Items and Eliminations
 
GE Corporate Items and Eliminations includes the results of disposed businesses in which we retain an unconsolidated interest, principal retirement plan costs and underabsorbed corporate overhead, which includes research and development spending (including our Global Research Centers) and costs related to our Global Growth & Operations organization.

On January 28, 2011, we transferred the assets of our NBC Universal (NBCU) business and Comcast Corporation (Comcast) transferred certain of its assets to a newly formed entity, NBCUniversal LLC (NBCU LLC). In connection with the transaction, we received cash from Comcast and a 49% interest in NBCU LLC. Prior to this transaction, NBCU operated as a consolidated diversified media and entertainment company focused on the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information, sports and other content to a global audience. Following the transaction, we deconsolidated NBCU and we account for our investment in NBCU LLC under the equity method.

During 2009, we sold an 81% interest in our safety screening and detection business, GE Homeland Protection, Inc., to SAFRAN, and in the first quarter of 2010, we sold our other remaining Security business. Prior to its sale, it offered security and life safety technologies, including intrusion and access control, video surveillance and sensor monitoring equipment, fire detection and real estate and property control.

Discontinued Operations
 
Discontinued operations primarily comprised BAC, GE Money Japan (our Japanese personal loan business, Lake, and our Japanese mortgage and card businesses, excluding our investment in GE Nissen Credit Co., Ltd.), our U.S. mortgage business (WMC), Consumer RV Marine, Consumer Mexico, Consumer Singapore and Australian Home Lending.

 
(12)

 


For further information about discontinued operations, see Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

Geographic Data
 
Geographic data is reported in Note 28 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

Additional financial data about our geographic operations is provided in the Geographic Operations section in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Form 10-K Report.

Orders and Backlog
 
GE Infrastructure equipment orders increased 24% to $50.1 billion at December 31, 2011. Total GE Infrastructure backlog increased 14% to $200.2 billion at December 31, 2011, composed of equipment backlog of $52.7 billion and services backlog of $147.5 billion. Orders constituting backlog may be cancelled or deferred by customers, subject in certain cases to penalties. See the Segment Operations section in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Form 10-K Report for further information.

Research and Development
 
GE-funded research and development expenditures were $4.6 billion, $3.9 billion and $3.3 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. In addition, research and development funding from customers, principally the U.S. government, totaled $0.8 billion, $1.0 billion and $1.1 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively.  Aviation accounts for the largest share of GE’s research and development expenditures with funding from both GE and customer funds. Energy Infrastructure’s Energy business and Healthcare also made significant expenditures funded primarily by GE.

Environmental Matters
 
Our operations, like operations of other companies engaged in similar businesses, involve the use, disposal and cleanup of substances regulated under environmental protection laws. We are involved in a number of remediation actions to clean up hazardous wastes as required by federal and state laws. Such statutes require that responsible parties fund remediation actions regardless of fault, legality of original disposal or ownership of a disposal site. Expenditures for site remediation actions amounted to approximately $0.3 billion in 2011, $0.2 billion in 2010 and $0.3 billion in 2009. We presently expect that such remediation actions will require average annual expenditures of about $0.4 billion for each of the next two years.

In 2006, we entered into a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dredge PCB-containing sediment from the upper Hudson River. The consent decree provided that the dredging would be performed in two phases. Phase 1 was completed in May through November of 2009. Between Phase 1 and Phase 2 there was an intervening peer review by an independent panel of national experts. The panel evaluated the performance of Phase 1 dredging operations with respect to Phase 1 Engineering Performance Standards and recommended proposed changes to the standards. On December 17, 2010, EPA issued its decision setting forth the final performance standards for Phase 2 of the Hudson River dredging project, incorporating aspects of the recommendations from the independent peer review panel and from GE. In December 2010, we agreed to perform Phase 2 of the project in accordance with the final performance standards set by EPA and increased our reserve by $0.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 to account for the probable and estimable costs of completing Phase 2. In 2011, we completed the first year of Phase 2 dredging and commenced work on planned upgrades to the Hudson River wastewater processing facility.  Based on the results from 2011 dredging and our best professional engineering judgment, we believe that our current reserve continues to reflect our probable and estimable costs for the remainder of Phase 2 of the dredging project.

 
(13)

 

Employees and Employee Relations
 
At year-end 2011, General Electric Company and consolidated affiliates employed approximately 301,000 persons, of whom approximately 131,000 were employed in the United States. For further information about employees, see Part II, Item 6. “Selected Financial Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

Approximately 15,800 GE manufacturing and service employees in the United States are represented for collective bargaining purposes by a total of approximately 108 different union local bargaining units. A majority of such employees are represented by union locals that are affiliated with, and bargain in coordination with, the IUE-CWA, The Industrial Division of the Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO, CLC. During 2011, we negotiated four-year agreements with most of our U.S. unions.  These agreements modestly increase ongoing costs over the term of the contracts on an aggregate basis.  However, the agreements also implement new features that focus on cost containment for health and pension plans.  Beginning January 1, 2012, all production employees will participate in a new consumer-directed health plan.  In addition, production employees who commence service on or after that date will not be eligible to participate in the GE Pension Plan, but will participate in a defined contribution retirement plan.

Other GE affiliates are parties to labor contracts with various labor unions, also with varying terms and expiration dates, that cover approximately 3,400 employees.

Executive Officers
 
See Part III, Item 10. “Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance” of this Form 10-K Report for information about Executive Officers of the Registrant.

Other
 
Because of the diversity of our products and services, as well as the wide geographic dispersion of our production facilities, we use numerous sources for the wide variety of raw materials needed for our operations. We have not been adversely affected by the inability to obtain raw materials.

We own, or hold licenses to use, numerous patents. New patents are continuously being obtained through our research and development activities as existing patents expire. Patented inventions are used both within the Company and are licensed to others, but no operating segment is substantially dependent on any single patent or group of related patents.

Sales of goods and services to agencies of the U.S. Government as a percentage of revenues follow.
 
 
% of Consolidated Revenues
 
% of GE Revenues
 
 
2011 
 
2010 
 
2009 
 
2011 
 
2010 
 
2009 
 
                                     
Total sales to U.S. Government Agencies
 
%
 
%
 
%
 
%
 
%
 
%
Aviation segment
                                   
   defense-related sales
 
   
   
   
   
   
 


GE is a trademark and service mark of General Electric Company.

The Company’s Internet address is www.ge.com. Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports are available, without charge, on our website, www.ge.com/en/company/investor/secfilings.htm, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed electronically with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Copies are also available, without charge, from GE Corporate Investor Communications, 3135 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield, CT 06828-0001. Reports filed with the SEC may be viewed at www.sec.gov or obtained at the SEC Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. Information regarding the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. References to our website addressed in this report are provided as a convenience and do not constitute, and should not be viewed as, an incorporation by reference of the information contained on, or available through, the website. Therefore, such information should not be considered part of this report.
 
 
(14)

 
Item 1A. Risk Factors
 
The following discussion of risk factors contains “forward-looking statements,” as discussed in Item 1. “Business”. These risk factors may be important to understanding any statement in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or elsewhere. The following information should be read in conjunction with Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” (MD&A), and the consolidated financial statements and related notes in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.
 
Our businesses routinely encounter and address risks, some of which will cause our future results to be different – sometimes materially different – than we presently anticipate. Discussion about important operational risks that our businesses encounter can be found in the MD&A section and in the business descriptions in Item 1. “Business” of this Form 10-K Report. Below, we describe certain important operational and strategic risks. Our reactions to material future developments as well as our competitors’ reactions to those developments will affect our future results.

Our growth is subject to global economic and political risks.
We operate in virtually every part of the world and serve customers in more than 100 countries. In 2011, approximately 53% of our revenue was attributable to activities outside the United States.  Our operations are subject to the effects of global competition and geopolitical risks.  They are also affected by local economic environments, including inflation, recession, currency volatility and actual or anticipated default on sovereign debt. Political changes, some of which may be disruptive, can interfere with our supply chain, our customers and all of our activities in a particular location.  While some of these global economic and political risks can be hedged using derivatives or other financial instruments and some are insurable, such attempts to mitigate these risks are costly and not always successful, and our ability to engage in such mitigation has decreased or become even more costly as a result of more volatile market conditions.   

We are subject to a wide variety of laws, regulations and government policies that may change in significant ways.
Our businesses are subject to regulation under a wide variety of U.S. federal and state and non-U.S. laws, regulations and policies. There can be no assurance that laws and regulations will not be changed in ways that will require us to modify our business models and objectives or affect our returns on investments by restricting existing activities and products, subjecting them to escalating costs or prohibiting them outright. In particular, U.S. and non-U.S. governments are undertaking a substantial revision of the regulation and supervision of bank and non-bank financial institutions, consumer lending, the over-the-counter derivatives market and tax laws and regulations, which changes may have an effect on GE’s and GE Capital’s structure, operations, liquidity, effective tax rate and performance. We are also subject to a number of trade control laws and regulations that may affect our ability to sell our products in global markets. In addition, we are subject to regulatory risks from laws that reduce the allowable lending rate or limit consumer borrowing, local capital requirements that may increase the risk of not being able to retrieve assets, and changes to tax law that may affect our return on investments. For example, GE’s effective tax rate is reduced because active business income earned and indefinitely reinvested outside the United States is taxed at less than the U.S. rate. A significant portion of this reduction depends upon a provision of U.S. tax law that defers the imposition of U.S. tax on certain active financial services income until that income is repatriated to the United States as a dividend. This provision is consistent with international tax norms and permits U.S. financial services companies to compete more effectively with non-U.S. banks and other non-U.S. financial institutions in global markets. This provision, which expired at the end of 2011, had been scheduled to expire and had been extended by Congress on six previous occasions, including in December of 2010, but there can be no assurance that it will be extended, including retroactively. In the event the provision is not extended after 2011, the current U.S. tax imposed on active financial services income earned outside the United States would increase, making it more difficult for U.S. financial services companies to compete in global markets. If this provision is not extended, we expect our effective tax rate to increase significantly after 2012. In addition, efforts by public and private sectors to control the growth of healthcare costs may lead to lower reimbursements and increased utilization controls related to the use of our products by healthcare providers. Continued government scrutiny, including reviews of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) medical device pre-market authorization and post-market surveillance processes, may impact the requirements for marketing our products and slow our ability to introduce new products, resulting in an

 
(15)

 

adverse impact on our business. Furthermore, we have been, and expect to continue, participating in U.S. and international governmental programs, which require us to comply with strict governmental regulations. Inability to comply with these regulations could adversely affect our status in these projects and adversely affect our results of operations, financial position and cash flows.

We are subject to legal proceedings and legal compliance risks.
We are subject to a variety of legal proceedings and legal compliance risks in virtually every part of the world. We, our representatives, and the industries in which we operate are at times being reviewed or investigated by regulators and other governmental authorities, which could lead to enforcement actions, fines and penalties or the assertion of private litigation claims and damages. Additionally, we and our subsidiaries are involved in a sizable number of remediation actions to clean up hazardous wastes as required by federal and state laws. These include the dredging of polychlorinated biphenyls from a 40-mile stretch of the upper Hudson River in New York State, as described in Item 1. “Business” of this Form 10-K Report. We are also subject to certain other legal proceedings described in Item 3. “Legal Proceedings” of this Form 10-K Report. While we believe that we have adopted appropriate risk management and compliance programs, the global and diverse nature of our operations means that legal and compliance risks will continue to exist and additional legal proceedings and other contingencies, the outcome of which cannot be predicted with certainty, will arise from time to time.
 
The success of our business depends on achieving our strategic objectives, including through acquisitions, joint ventures and dispositions.
With respect to acquisitions and joint ventures, we may not achieve expected returns and other benefits as a result of various factors, including integration and collaboration challenges, such as personnel and technology. We also participate in a number of joint ventures with other companies or government enterprises in various markets around the world, including joint ventures where we may not have control.  By their nature, these collaborations may involve a lesser degree of control over the business operations of the joint venture, which may expose us to additional operational, financial, legal or compliance risks.  We also continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives. When we decide to sell assets or a business, we may encounter difficulty in finding buyers or alternative exit strategies on acceptable terms in a timely manner, which could delay the accomplishment of our strategic objectives. Alternatively, we may dispose of a business at a price or on terms that are less than we had anticipated. After reaching an agreement with a buyer or seller for the acquisition or disposition of a business, we are subject to satisfaction of pre-closing conditions as well as to necessary regulatory and governmental approvals on acceptable terms, which may prevent us from completing the transaction. Dispositions may also involve continued financial involvement in the divested business, such as through continuing equity ownership, guarantees, indemnities or other financial obligations. Under these arrangements, performance by the divested businesses or other conditions outside of our control could affect our future financial results.
 
Sustained increases in costs of pension and healthcare benefits may reduce our profitability.
Our results of operations may be positively or negatively affected by the amount of income or expense we record for our defined benefit pension plans. U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) require that we calculate income or expense for the plans using actuarial valuations. These valuations reflect assumptions about financial market and other economic conditions, which may change based on changes in key economic indicators. The most significant year-end assumptions we use to estimate pension expense for 2012 are the discount rate and the expected long-term rate of return on the plan assets. In addition, we are required to make an annual measurement of plan assets and liabilities, which may result in a significant change to equity through a reduction or increase to Accumulated gains (losses) – net, Benefit plans. At the end of 2011, the GE Pension Plan was underfunded, on a U.S. GAAP basis, by $13.2 billion, and the GE Supplementary Pension Plan, an unfunded plan, had a projected benefit obligation of $5.2 billion. For a discussion regarding how our financial statements can be affected by pension plan accounting policies, see Critical Accounting Estimates – Pension Assumptions in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 12 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report. Although GAAP expense and pension funding contributions are not directly related, key economic factors that affect GAAP expense would also likely affect the amount of cash we would contribute to pension plans as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Failure to achieve expected returns on plan assets driven by various factors, which could include a continued environment of low interest rates or sustained market volatility, could

 
(16)

 

also result in an increase to the amount of cash we would be required to contribute to pension plans. In addition, upward pressure on the cost of providing healthcare benefits to current employees and retirees may increase future funding obligations. Although we have actively sought to control increases in these costs, there can be no assurance that we will succeed in limiting cost increases, and continued upward pressure could reduce our profitability.

Conditions in the financial and credit markets may affect the availability and cost of funding.
As disclosed in more detail in the Liquidity and Borrowings section in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Form 10-K Report, a large portion of our borrowings is in the form of commercial paper and long-term debt. We continue to rely on the availability of the unsecured debt markets to access funding for term maturities for 2012 and beyond and to fund our operations without incurring additional U.S. tax. In addition, we rely on the availability of the commercial paper markets to refinance maturing commercial paper debt throughout the year. In order to further diversify our funding sources, GE Capital continues to expand its reliance on alternative sources of funding, including bank deposits, securitizations and other asset-based funding. There can be no assurance that we will succeed in increasing the diversification of our funding sources or that the short and long-term credit markets will be available or, if available, that the cost of funding will not substantially increase and affect our overall profitability. Factors that may cause an increase in our funding costs include: a decreased reliance on short-term funding, such as commercial paper, in favor of longer-term funding arrangements; decreased capacity and increased competition among debt issuers; and increased competition for deposits in our affiliate banks’ markets. If GE Capital’s cost of funding were to increase, it may adversely affect its competitive position and result in lower lending margins, earnings and cash flows as well as lower returns on its shareowner’s equity and invested capital.

If conditions in the financial markets deteriorate, they may adversely affect the business and results of operations of GE Capital as well as the soundness of financial institutions and governments we deal with.
If conditions in the financial markets deteriorate, there can be no assurance that we will be able to recover fully the value of certain assets, including goodwill, intangibles and tax assets. In addition, deterioration in the economy and in default and recovery rates could require us to increase allowances for loan losses, impairments or write-offs, which, depending on the amount of the increase, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.

In addition, GE Capital has exposure to many different industries and counterparties, including sovereign governments, and routinely executes transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks and other institutional clients. Many of these transactions expose GE Capital to credit risk in the event of default of its counterparty or client. In addition, GE Capital’s credit risk may be increased when the collateral held cannot be realized upon sale or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the loan or derivative exposure due to it. GE Capital also has exposure to these financial institutions in the form of unsecured debt instruments held in its investment portfolios. GE Capital has policies relating to initial credit rating requirements and to exposure limits to counterparties (as described in Note 22 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report), which are designed to limit credit and liquidity risk. There can be no assurance, however, that any losses or impairments to the carrying value of financial assets would not materially and adversely affect GE Capital’s business, financial position and results of operations.
 
The real estate markets in which GE Capital participates are highly dependent on economic conditions, the deterioration of which may adversely affect GE Capital’s business, financial position and results of operations.
GE Capital participates in the commercial real estate market in two ways: it provides financing for the acquisition, refinancing and renovation of various types of properties, and it also acquires equity positions in various types of properties or real estate investments. The profitability of real estate investments is largely dependent upon the economic conditions in specific geographic markets in which the properties are located and the perceived value of those markets at the time of sale. The level of transactions for real estate assets continue to remain at levels below historical norms in many of the markets in which GE Capital operates. High levels of unemployment, slowdown in business activity, excess inventory capacity and limited availability of credit may continue to adversely affect the value of real estate assets and collateral to real estate loans GE Capital holds. Under current market and credit

 
(17)

 

conditions, there can be no assurance as to the level of sales GE Capital will complete or the net sales proceeds it will realize. Also, occupancy rates and market rent levels may worsen, which may result in impairments to the carrying value of equity investments or increases in the allowance for loan losses on commercial real estate loans.
 
GE Capital is also a residential mortgage lender in certain geographic markets outside the United States that have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by declines in real estate values and home sale volumes, job losses, consumer bankruptcies and other factors that may negatively impact the credit performance of our mortgage loans. Our allowance for loan losses on these mortgage loans is based on our analysis of current and historical delinquency and loan performance, as well as other management assumptions that may be inaccurate predictors of credit performance in this environment. There can be no assurance that, in this environment, credit performance will not be materially worse than anticipated and, as a result, materially and adversely affect GE Capital’s business, financial position and results of operations.
 
Failure to maintain our credit ratings could adversely affect our cost of funds and related margins, liquidity, competitive position and access to capital markets.
The major debt rating agencies routinely evaluate our debt. This evaluation is based on a number of factors, which include financial strength as well as transparency with rating agencies and timeliness of financial reporting. As of December 31, 2011, GE and GECC’s long-term unsecured debt credit rating from Standard and Poor’s Ratings Service (S&P) was “AA+” (the second highest of 22 rating categories) with a stable outlook and from Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) was “Aa2” (the third highest of 21 rating categories) with a stable outlook. As of December 31, 2011, GE, GE Capital Services and GE Capital’s short-term credit rating from S&P was “A-1+” (the highest rating category of six categories) and from Moody’s was “P-1” (the highest rating category of four categories). There can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain our credit ratings and failure to do so could adversely affect our cost of funds and related margins, liquidity, competitive position and access to capital markets. Various debt and derivative instruments, guarantees and covenants would require posting additional capital or collateral in the event of a ratings downgrade, which, depending on the extent of the downgrade, could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and capital position.

Current conditions in the global economy and the major industries we serve also may materially and adversely affect the business and results of operations of our non-financial businesses.
The business and operating results of our industrial businesses have been, and will continue to be, affected by worldwide economic conditions, including conditions in the air and rail transportation, energy generation, healthcare, home building and other major industries we serve. As a result of slower global economic growth, the credit market crisis, declining consumer and business confidence, increased unemployment, reduced levels of capital expenditures, fluctuating commodity prices, bankruptcies, government deficit reduction and austerity measures and other challenges affecting the global economy, some of our customers have experienced deterioration of their businesses, cash flow shortages, and difficulty obtaining financing. As a result, existing or potential customers may delay or cancel plans to purchase our products and services, including large infrastructure projects, and may not be able to fulfill their obligations to us in a timely fashion. In particular, the airline industry is highly cyclical, and the level of demand for air travel is correlated to the strength of the U.S. and international economies. An extended period of slow growth in the U.S. or internationally that results in the loss of business and leisure traffic could have a material adverse effect on our airline customers and the viability of their business. Service contract cancellations could affect our ability to fully recover our contract costs and estimated earnings. Further, our vendors may be experiencing similar conditions, which may impact their ability to fulfill their obligations to us. If slower growth in the global economy continues for a significant period or there is significant deterioration in the global economy, our results of operations, financial position and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

Increased IT security requirements, vulnerabilities, threats and more sophisticated and targeted computer crime could pose a risk to our systems, networks, products, solutions, services and data. 
Increased global IT security requirements, vulnerabilities, threats and more sophisticated and targeted computer crime pose a risk to the security of our systems and networks and the confidentiality, availability and integrity of our data. While we attempt to mitigate these risks by employing a number of measures, including employee training, comprehensive monitoring of our networks and systems, and maintenance of backup and protective systems, our systems, networks, products, solutions and services remain potentially vulnerable to advanced persistent threats. We

 
(18)

 

also may have access to sensitive, confidential or personal data or information in certain of our businesses that is subject to privacy and security laws, regulations and customer-imposed controls. Despite our efforts to protect sensitive, confidential or personal data or information, our facilities and systems and those of our third-party service providers may be vulnerable to security breaches, theft, misplaced or lost data, programming and/or human errors that could potentially lead to the compromising of sensitive, confidential or personal data or information, improper use of our systems, software solutions or networks, unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification or destruction of information, defective products, production downtimes and operational disruptions, which in turn could adversely affect our reputation, competitiveness and results of operations.

We may face quality problems from operational failures that could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial position and results of operations, and we are dependent on market acceptance of new product introductions and product innovations for continued revenue growth.
We produce highly sophisticated products and provide specialized services for both our and third-party products that incorporate or use leading-edge technology, including both hardware and software. While we have built extensive operational processes to ensure that the design, manufacture and servicing of such products meet the most rigorous quality standards, there can be no assurance that we or our customers will not experience operational process failures that could result in potential product, safety, regulatory or environmental risks. Such operational failures or quality issues could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial position and results of operations. In addition, the markets in which we operate are subject to technological change. Our long-term operating results depend substantially upon our ability to continually develop, introduce, and market new and innovative products, to modify existing products, to customize products, to respond to technological change and to execute our product development in line with our projected cost estimates.

Our intellectual property portfolio may not prevent competitors from independently developing products and services similar to or duplicative to ours.
Our patents and other intellectual property may not prevent competitors from independently developing or selling products and services similar to or duplicative of ours, and there can be no assurance that the resources invested by us to protect our intellectual property will be sufficient or that our intellectual property portfolio will adequately deter misappropriation or improper use of our technology. We could also face competition in some countries where we have not invested in an intellectual property portfolio. We also face attempts by third-parties to gain unauthorized access to our information technology systems for the purpose of improperly acquiring our trade secrets or confidential business information. The theft or unauthorized use or publication of our trade secrets and other confidential business information as a result of such an incident could adversely affect our competitive position and the value of our investment in research and development. In addition, we may be the target of aggressive and opportunistic enforcement of patents by third parties, including non-practicing entities. Regardless of the merit of such claims, responding to infringement claims can be expensive and time-consuming. If GE is found to infringe any third-party rights, we could be required to pay substantial damages or we could be enjoined from offering some of our products and services. Also, there can be no assurances that we will be able to obtain or re-new from third parties the licenses we need in the future, and there is no assurance that such licenses can be obtained on reasonable terms.

Significant raw material shortages, supplier capacity constraints, supplier production disruptions, supplier quality and sourcing issues or price increases could increase our operating costs and adversely impact the competitive positions of our products.
Our reliance on third-party suppliers, contract manufacturers and service providers and commodity markets to secure raw materials, parts, components and sub-systems used in our products exposes us to volatility in the prices and availability of these materials, parts, components, systems and services. A disruption in deliveries from our third-party suppliers, contract manufacturers or service providers, capacity constraints, production disruptions, price increases, or decreased availability of raw materials or commodities, could have an adverse effect on our ability to meet our commitments to customers or increase our operating costs. Quality and sourcing issues experienced by third-party providers can also adversely affect the quality and effectiveness of our products and services and result in liability and reputational harm.
 
 
(19)

 
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
 
Not applicable.
 
Item 2. Properties
 
Manufacturing operations are carried out at approximately 231 manufacturing plants located in 39 states in the United States and Puerto Rico and at approximately 277 manufacturing plants located in 43 other countries.
 
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
 
As previously reported, in September 2010, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted our motion to dismiss in its entirety with prejudice a purported class action under the federal securities laws naming us as defendant, as well as our chief executive officer and chief financial officer. In this action, the plaintiffs alleged that during a conference call with analysts on September 25, 2008, defendants made false and misleading statements concerning (i) the state of GE’s funding, cash flows, and liquidity and (ii) the question of issuing additional equity, which caused economic loss to those shareholders who purchased GE stock between September 25, 2008 and October 2, 2008, when we announced the pricing of a common stock offering. Plaintiffs’ motion to appeal was denied in November 2011.

As previously reported, in March and April 2009, shareholders filed purported class actions under the federal securities laws in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York naming as defendants GE, a number of GE officers (including our chief executive officer and chief financial officer) and our directors. The complaints, which have now been consolidated, seek unspecified damages based on allegations related to statements regarding the GE dividend and projected losses and earnings for GECC in 2009. In January 2012, the District Court granted in part, and denied in part, our motion to dismiss.

As also previously reported, a shareholder derivative action seeking unspecified damages was filed in federal court in Connecticut in May 2009 making essentially the same allegations as the New York class actions described above. GE’s motion to transfer the derivative action to the Southern District of New York as a related case was granted in February 2010, and our motion to dismiss the complaint was granted in April 2011. The plaintiff has filed an appeal.

As previously reported, in March 2010, a shareholder derivative action was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York naming as defendants GE, a number of GE officers (including our chief executive officer and chief financial officer) and our directors. The complaint seeks unspecified damages and principally alleges breaches of fiduciary duty and other causes of action related to the GE dividend and SEC matter which GE resolved in August 2009 and alleged mismanagement of our financial services businesses. In September 2011, our motion to dismiss was granted.  A motion for leave to file an amended complaint is pending.

As previously reported, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are conducting an industry-wide investigation of marketing and sales of guaranteed investment contracts, and other financial instruments, to municipalities in connection with tax-exempt bonds.  In December 2011, GE Funding Capital Market Services (GE FCMS), an indirect subsidiary of General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC), announced that it had reached a settlement with the SEC, the DOJ, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and a working group of 25 State Attorneys General (the working group, and collectively with the DOJ, SEC and IRS, the agencies) to resolve their investigations of conduct by certain former employees of its guaranteed investment contract business, which was discontinued in April 2010.  In January 2012, the State of California joined the working group’s settlement with GE FCMS. This concludes the agencies’ investigations of GE FCMS’ conduct.  Under the terms of the settlements, GE FCMS will pay a settlement amount of $70.4 million to the agencies.  In connection with the SEC and State Attorneys General settlements, GE FCMS neither admits nor denies the allegations in the SEC’s complaint and in the working group’s settlement agreement.

 
(20)

 

As previously reported, in January 2011, an action was brought in Utah Federal court, and subsequently transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, against Trinity Plus Funding Co., LLC (Trinity Plus) and FGIC Capital Market Services, Inc. (the predecessor of GE FCMS) asserting antitrust violations.  In April 2011, a third-party action was brought against Trinity Plus in the Massachusetts Superior Court, Suffolk County alleging violations of Massachusetts statutory and common laws. Additionally, in 2011, a number of additional actions were brought (or transferred to or amended) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against GECC, Trinity Funding Co., LLC (Trinity Funding), GE FCMS and Trinity Plus alleging antitrust violations, all of which were dismissed in September 2011, except for one action where our motion to dismiss was denied.  These actions seek unspecified damages.

The company is reporting the following two matters in compliance with SEC requirements to disclose environmental proceedings where the government is a party potentially involving monetary sanctions of $100,000 or greater:

As previously reported, in June 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation and in January 2011 filed a complaint alleging non-compliance with the Clean Air Act at a power cogeneration plant in Homer City, PA. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the New York Attorney General’s Office and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have intervened in the EPA case. The plant is operated exclusively by EME Homer City Generation L.P., and is owned and leased to EME Homer City Generation L.P. by subsidiaries of GECC and one other entity. The complaints did not indicate a specific penalty amount but make reference to statutory fines. In October 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted a motion to dismiss the matter with prejudice with regard to all federal counts, and with leave to re-file in state court for the non-federal counts. On December 8, 2011, EPA filed notice of its intent to appeal.  NY, NJ and PA filed similar notices on December 9.

As previously reported, in July 2011, the EPA informed the company that it would be seeking a penalty for the company’s alleged failure to accurately report releases of certain materials under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act at its Hydril Oil & Gas facility in Houston, Texas.  The EPA has offered to settle the matter for $123,832.  The company believes that there are meritorious defenses to certain of the allegations and is continuing to discuss the matter with the EPA.
 
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
 
Not applicable.
 
 
(21)

 
Part II
 
 
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
With respect to “Market Information,” in the United States, GE common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (its principal market). GE common stock is also listed on the London Stock Exchange and on Euronext Paris. Trading prices, as reported on the New York Stock Exchange, Inc., Composite Transactions Tape, and dividend information follow:
 
 
Common stock market price
 
Dividends
(In dollars)
High
 
Low
 
declared
                 
2011 
               
Fourth quarter
$
18.28 
 
$
14.02 
 
$
0.17 
Third quarter
 
19.53 
   
14.72 
   
0.15 
Second quarter
 
20.85 
   
17.97 
   
0.15 
First quarter
 
21.65 
   
18.12 
   
0.14 
                 
2010 
               
Fourth quarter
$
18.49 
 
$
15.63 
 
$
0.14 
Third quarter
 
16.70 
   
13.75 
   
0.12 
Second quarter
 
19.70 
   
14.27 
   
0.10 
First quarter
 
18.94 
   
15.15 
   
0.10 


As of January 31, 2012, there were approximately 561,000 shareowner accounts of record.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, we purchased shares of our common stock as follows.
 
               
Approximate
               
dollar value
           
Total number
 
of shares that
           
of shares
 
may yet be
           
purchased
 
purchased
           
as part of
 
under our
   
Total number
 
Average
 
our share
 
share
   
of shares
 
price paid
 
repurchase
 
repurchase
Period(a)
 
purchased
(a)(b)
per share
 
program
(a)(c)
program
(Shares in thousands)
                       
                         
2011 
                       
October
   
888 
 
$
 16.25 
   
640 
     
November
   
749 
 
$
 15.77 
   
614 
     
December
   
957 
 
$
 17.11 
   
698 
     
Total
   
2,594 
 
$
 16.43 
   
1,952 
$
7.9 
billion
                         
                         
(a)
Information is presented on a fiscal calendar basis, consistent with our quarterly financial reporting.
 
(b)
This category includes 642 thousand shares repurchased from our various benefit plans, primarily the GE Savings and Security Program (the S&SP). Through the S&SP, a defined contribution plan with Internal Revenue Service Code 401(k) features, we repurchase shares resulting from changes in investment options by plan participants.
 
(c)
This balance represents the number of shares that were repurchased through the 2007 GE Share Repurchase Program (the Program) under which we are authorized to repurchase up to $15 billion of our common stock through 2013. The Program is flexible and shares are acquired with a combination of borrowings and free cash flow from the public markets and other sources, including GE Stock Direct, a stock purchase plan that is available to the public.
 

 
(22)

 

For information regarding compensation plans under which equity securities are authorized for issuance, see Note 16 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

 
(23)

 


Five-year financial performance graph: 2007-2011
 
Comparison of five-year cumulative return among GE, S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average
 
The annual changes for the five-year period shown in the graph on this page are based on the assumption that $100 had been invested in GE stock, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on December 31, 2006, and that all quarterly dividends were reinvested. The total cumulative dollar returns shown on the graph represent the value that such investments would have had on December 31, 2011.


 
                                   
   
2006 
   
2007 
   
2008 
   
2009 
   
2010 
   
2011 
                                   
GE
$
100 
 
$
103 
 
$
47 
 
$
46 
 
$
57 
 
$
58 
S&P 500
 
100 
   
105 
   
66 
   
84 
   
97 
   
99 
DJIA
 
100 
   
109 
   
74 
   
91 
   
104 
   
112 

 
(24)

 


 
Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
 
The following table provides key information for Consolidated, GE and GECS.
 
(Dollars in millions; per-share amounts in dollars)
2011 
 
2010 
 
2009 
 
2008 
 
2007 
 
                               
General Electric Company and
                             
Consolidated Affiliates
                             
   Revenues
$
 147,300 
 
$
 149,593 
 
$
 154,438 
 
$
 179,837 
 
$
 169,964 
 
   Earnings from continuing operations attributable to the Company
 
 14,074 
   
 12,517 
   
 10,806 
   
 17,804 
   
 22,268 
 
   Earnings (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes,
                             
      attributable to the Company
 
 77 
   
 (873)
   
 219 
   
 (394)
   
 (60)
 
   Net earnings attributable to the Company
 
 14,151 
   
 11,644 
   
 11,025 
   
 17,410 
   
 22,208 
 
   Dividends declared(a)
 
 7,498 
   
 5,212 
   
 6,785 
   
 12,649 
   
 11,713 
 
   Return on average GE shareowners’ equity(b)
 
 11.9 
%
 
 12.1 
%
 
 11.6 
%
 
 17.0 
%
 
 22.0 
%
   Per common share
                             
      Earnings from continuing operations – diluted
$
 1.23 
 
$
 1.14 
 
$
 0.99 
 
$
 1.76 
 
$
 2.18 
 
      Earnings (loss) from discontinued operations – diluted
 
 0.01 
   
 (0.08)
   
 0.02 
   
 (0.04)
   
 (0.01)
 
      Net earnings – diluted
 
 1.23 
   
 1.06 
   
 1.01 
   
 1.72 
   
 2.17 
 
      Earnings from continuing operations – basic
 
 1.23 
   
 1.14 
   
 0.99 
   
 1.76 
   
 2.19 
 
      Earnings (loss) from discontinued operations – basic
 
 0.01 
   
 (0.08)
   
 0.02 
   
 (0.04)
   
 (0.01)
 
      Net earnings – basic
 
 1.24 
   
 1.06 
   
 1.01 
   
 1.72 
   
 2.18 
 
      Dividends declared
 
 0.61 
   
 0.46 
   
 0.61 
   
 1.24 
   
 1.15 
 
      Stock price range
21.65-14.02
 
19.70-13.75
 
17.52-5.87
 
38.52-12.58
 
42.15-33.90
 
      Year-end closing stock price
 
 17.91 
   
 18.29 
   
 15.13 
   
 16.20 
   
 37.07 
 
Cash and equivalents
 
 84,501 
   
 78,943 
   
 70,479 
   
 48,378 
   
 15,553 
 
Total assets of continuing operations
 
 715,987 
   
 735,368 
   
 756,943 
   
 773,531 
   
 756,526 
 
Total assets
 
 717,242 
   
 747,793 
   
 781,949 
   
 797,876 
   
 795,758 
 
Long-term borrowings
 
 243,459 
   
 293,323 
   
 336,172 
   
 320,522 
   
 314,977 
 
Common shares outstanding – average (in thousands)
10,591,146 
 
10,661,078 
 
10,613,717 
 
10,079,923 
 
10,182,083 
 
Common shareowner accounts – average
 
 570,000 
   
 588,000 
   
 605,000 
   
 604,000 
   
 608,000 
 
Employees at year end
                             
   United States(c)
 
 131,000 
   
 121,000 
   
 122,000 
   
 139,000 
   
 141,000 
 
   Other countries(c)
 
 170,000 
   
 152,000 
   
 168,000 
   
 169,000 
   
 170,000 
 
   NBCU
 
– 
   
 14,000 
   
 14,000 
   
 15,000 
   
 16,000 
 
Total employees
 
 301,000 
   
 287,000 
   
 304,000 
   
 323,000 
   
 327,000 
 
                               
                               
GE data
                             
   Short-term borrowings
$
 2,184 
 
$
 456 
 
$
 504 
 
$
 2,375 
 
$
 4,106 
 
   Long-term borrowings
 
 9,405 
   
 9,656 
   
 11,681 
   
 9,827 
   
 11,656 
 
   Noncontrolling interests
 
 1,006 
   
 4,098 
   
 5,797 
   
 6,678 
   
 6,503 
 
   GE shareowners’ equity
 
 116,438 
   
 118,936 
   
 117,291 
   
 104,665 
   
 115,559 
 
      Total capital invested
$
 129,033 
 
$
 133,146 
 
$
 135,273 
 
$
 123,545 
 
$
 137,824 
 
   Return on average total capital invested(b)
 
 11.6 
%
 
 11.8 
%
 
 10.6 
%
 
 15.7 
%
 
 20.2 
%
   Borrowings as a percentage of total capital invested(b)
 
 9.0 
%
 
 7.6 
%
 
 9.0 
%
 
 9.9 
%
 
 11.4 
%
   Working capital(b)
$
 (10)
 
$
 (1,618)
 
$
 (1,596)
 
$
 3,904 
 
$
 6,433 
 
                               
                               
GECS data
                             
   Revenues
$
 49,081 
 
$
 49,881 
 
$
 51,818 
 
$
 68,609 
 
$
 69,412 
 
   Earnings from continuing operations attributable to GECS
 
 6,432 
   
 3,023 
   
 1,177 
   
 7,489 
   
 12,227 
 
   Earnings (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes,
                             
      attributable to GECS
 
 78 
   
 (868)
   
 238 
   
 (434)
   
 (1,926)
 
   Net earnings attributable to GECS
 
 6,510 
   
 2,155 
   
 1,415 
   
 7,055 
   
 10,301 
 
   GECS shareowner’s equity
 
 77,110 
   
 68,984 
   
 70,833 
   
 53,279 
   
 57,676 
 
   Total borrowings and bank deposits
 
 443,097 
   
 470,520 
   
 493,324 
   
 512,745 
   
 497,431 
 
   Ratio of debt to equity at GECS
 
5.75:1
(d)
 
6.82:1
(d)
 
6.96:1
(d)
 
9.62:1
   
8.62:1
 
   Total assets
$
 584,536 
 
$
 605,255 
 
$
 650,372 
 
$
 661,009 
 
$
 646,560 
 
                               
                               
 
Transactions between GE and GECS have been eliminated from the consolidated information.
 
(a)
Included $1,031 million of preferred stock dividends ($806 million related to our preferred stock redemption) in 2011, $300 million in both 2010 and 2009 and $75 million in 2008.
 
(b)
Indicates terms are defined in the Glossary.
 
(c)
Excludes NBCU.
 
(d)
Ratios of 4.23:1, 5.25:1 and 5.39:1 for 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively, net of cash and equivalents and with classification of hybrid debt as equity.
 

 
(25)

 


 
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
Operations
 
The consolidated financial statements of General Electric Company (the Company) combine the industrial manufacturing and services businesses of General Electric Company (GE) with the financial services businesses of General Electric Capital Services, Inc. (GECS or financial services). Unless otherwise indicated by the context, we use the terms “GE,” “GECS” and “GECC” on the basis of consolidation described in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

In the accompanying analysis of financial information, we sometimes use information derived from consolidated financial information but not presented in our financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Certain of these data are considered “non-GAAP financial measures” under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. For such measures, we have provided supplemental explanations and reconciliations in the Supplemental Information section.

We present Management’s Discussion of Operations in five parts: Overview of Our Earnings from 2009 through 2011, Global Risk Management, Segment Operations, Geographic Operations and Environmental Matters. Unless otherwise indicated, we refer to captions such as revenues and earnings from continuing operations attributable to the company simply as “revenues” and “earnings” throughout this Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Similarly, discussion of other matters in our consolidated financial statements relates to continuing operations unless otherwise indicated.

Effective January 1, 2011, we reorganized the former Technology Infrastructure segment into three segments – Aviation, Healthcare and Transportation. The prior-period results of the Aviation, Healthcare and Transportation businesses are unaffected by this reorganization. Results for 2011 and prior periods are reported on the basis under which we managed our businesses in 2011.

On February 22, 2012, we merged our wholly-owned subsidiary, GECS, with and into GECS’ wholly-owned subsidiary, GECC.  The merger simplified our financial services’ corporate structure by consolidating financial services entities and assets within our organization and simplifying Securities and Exchange Commission and regulatory reporting. Upon the merger, GECC became the surviving corporation and assumed all of GECS’ rights and obligations and became wholly-owned directly by General Electric. Our financial services segment, GE Capital, will continue to comprise the continuing operations of GECC, which now includes the run-off insurance operations previously held and managed in GECS. References to GECS, GECC and the GE Capital segment in this Form 10-K Report relate to the entities or segment as they existed during 2011 and do not reflect the February 22, 2012 merger.

We supplement our GAAP net earnings and earnings per share (EPS) reporting by also reporting an operating earnings and EPS measure (non-GAAP). Operating earnings and EPS include service cost and plan amendment amortization for our principal pension plans as these costs represent expenses associated with employee benefits earned. Operating earnings and EPS exclude non-operating pension cost/income such as interest cost, expected return on plan assets and non-cash amortization of actuarial gains and losses. We believe that this reporting provides better transparency to the employee benefit costs of our principal pension plans and Company operating results.

 
(26)

 

Overview of Our Earnings from 2009 through 2011
Earnings from continuing operations attributable to the Company increased 12% in 2011 and 16% in 2010, reflecting the stabilization of overall economic conditions during the last two years, following the challenging conditions of 2009. Operating earnings (non-GAAP measure) which exclude non-operating pension costs increased 20% to $14.8 billion in 2011 compared with $12.3 billion in 2010. Operating earnings per share (non-GAAP measure) increased 15% to $1.29 in 2011 compared with $1.12 in 2010. Operating earnings per share excluding the effects of our preferred stock redemption (non-GAAP measure) increased 22% to $1.37 in 2011 compared with $1.12 in 2010. We believe that we are seeing continued signs of stabilization in much of the global economy, including in financial services, as GECS earnings from continuing operations attributable to the Company increased 113% in 2011 and 157% in 2010. Net earnings attributable to the Company increased 22% in 2011 reflecting the lack of prior year losses from discontinued operations and a 12% increase in earnings from continuing operations, after increasing 6% in 2010, as losses from discontinued operations in 2010 partially offset the 16% increase in earnings from continuing operations.  We begin 2012 with a record backlog of $200 billion and expect to continue our trend of revenue and earnings growth.

Energy Infrastructure (27% and 39% of consolidated three-year revenues and total segment profit, respectively) revenues increased 16% in 2011 primarily as a result of acquisitions during 2011 and higher volume due to increased sales of services at Energy and Oil & Gas, after decreasing 8% in 2010 as the world-wide demand for new sources of power, such as wind and thermal declined with the overall economic conditions. Segment profit decreased 9% in 2011 primarily on lower productivity, driven by the wind turbines business, acquisitions and investment in our global organization and new technology, and lower prices.  Segment profit increased 2% in 2010 primarily on higher prices and lower material and other costs. We continue to invest in market-leading technology and services at Energy and Oil & Gas.

Aviation (12% and 20% of consolidated three-year revenues and total segment profit, respectively) revenues and segment profit increased 7% and 6%, respectively, in 2011 and fell 6% and 16%, respectively, in 2010. We continue to invest in market-leading technologies and services at Aviation. Aviation revenues and earnings increased in 2011 as a result of higher volume and higher prices primarily driven by increased services and equipment sales.  In 2010 Aviation revenues decreased from a reduction in volume reflecting decreased commercial and military equipment sales and services.  Earnings decreased as a result of lower productivity primarily due to product launch and production costs associated with the GEnx engine shipments.

Healthcare (11% and 15% of consolidated three-year revenues and total segment profit, respectively) revenues and segment profit increased 7% and 2%, respectively, in 2011 and 6% and 13%, respectively, in 2010. We continue to invest in market-leading technologies and services at Healthcare. Healthcare revenues increased over this period on increased volume from higher equipment sales and services and the effects of the weaker U.S. dollar. Healthcare earnings improved over this period on increased productivity, higher volume and the effects of weaker U.S. dollar.

Transportation (3% and 3% of consolidated three-year revenues and total segment profit, respectively) revenues and segment profit increased 45% and more than 100%, respectively, in 2011 and fell 12% and 33%, respectively, in 2010. We continue to invest in market-leading technologies and services at Transportation. Transportation revenues improved in 2011 due to higher volume related to increased equipment sales and services.  Transportation earnings increased as a result of increased productivity, reflecting improved service margins and higher volume, while they declined in 2010 as the weakened economy had driven overall reductions in U.S. freight traffic and we updated our estimates of long-term product service costs in our maintenance service agreements.

Home & Business Solutions (6% and 2% of consolidated three-year revenues and total segment profit, respectively) revenues have decreased 2% in 2011 and increased 2% in 2010. Home & Business Solutions revenues trended down as a result of lower volume in Appliances. The revenue increase in 2010 was related to increased volume across all businesses. Segment profit decreased 34% in 2011 after increasing 24% in 2010 primarily as a result of lower volume and the effects of inflation.

 
(27)

 

GE Capital (31% and 21% of consolidated three-year revenues and total segment profit, respectively) net earnings increased to $6.5 billion in 2011 and $3.2 billion in 2010 due to the continued stabilization in the overall economic environment. Over the last several years, we tightened underwriting standards, shifted teams from origination to collection and maintained a proactive risk management focus. This, along with recent increased stability in the financial markets, contributed to lower losses and a significant increase in segment profit in 2011 and 2010. We also reduced our ending net investment (ENI), excluding cash and equivalents, from $526 billion at January 1, 2010 to $445 billion at December 31, 2011. General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC) is a diversely funded and smaller, more focused finance company with strong positions in several commercial mid-market and consumer financing segments.

Overall, acquisitions contributed $4.6 billion, $0.3 billion and $2.9 billion to consolidated revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively, excluding the effects of acquisition gains following our adoption of an amendment to Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 810, Consolidation. Our consolidated net earnings included an insignificant amount, $0.1 billion and $0.5 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively, from acquired businesses. We integrate acquisitions as quickly as possible. Only revenues and earnings from the date we complete the acquisition through the end of the fourth following quarter are attributed to such businesses. Dispositions also affected our ongoing results through lower revenues of $12.6 billion, $3.0 billion and $4.7 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The effects of dispositions on net earnings was a decrease of $0.3 billion in 2011 and increases of $0.1 billion and $0.6 billion in 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Discontinued Operations. Consistent with our goal of reducing GECC ENI and focusing our businesses on selective financial services products where we have domain knowledge, broad distribution, and the ability to earn a consistent return on capital, while managing our overall balance sheet size and risk, in 2011, we sold Consumer RV Marine, Consumer Mexico, Consumer Singapore and Australian Home Lending. Discontinued operations also includes BAC Credomatic GECF Inc. (BAC), our U.S. mortgage business (WMC) and GE Money Japan (our Japanese personal loan business, Lake, and our Japanese mortgage and card businesses, excluding our investment in GE Nissen Credit Co., Ltd.). All of these operations were previously reported in the GE Capital segment.

We reported the operations described above as discontinued operations for all periods presented. For further information about discontinued operations, see “Segment Operations – Discontinued Operations” in this Item and Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

We declared $7.5 billion in dividends in 2011. Common per-share dividends of $0.61 increased 33% from 2010, following a 25% decrease from the preceding year. In February 2009, we announced the reduction of the quarterly GE stock dividend by 68% from $0.31 per share to $0.10 per share, effective with the dividend approved by the Board in June 2009, which was paid in the third quarter of 2009. In July 2010, our Board of Directors approved a 20% increase in our regular quarterly dividend from $0.10 per share to $0.12 per share and in December 2010, approved an additional 17% increase from $0.12 per share to $0.14 per share. On April 21, 2011, our Board of Directors approved an increase in our regular quarterly dividend to $0.15 per share. On December 9, 2011, our Board of Directors approved an increase in our regular quarterly dividend to $0.17 per share. On February 10, 2012, our Board of Directors approved a regular quarterly dividend of $0.17 per share of common stock, which is payable April 25, 2012, to shareowners of record at close of business on February 27, 2012. In 2011, 2010 and 2009, we declared $1.0 billion (including $0.8 billion as a result of our redemption of preferred stock), $0.3 billion and $0.3 billion in preferred stock dividends, respectively. See Note 15 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report for additional information.

Except as otherwise noted, the analysis in the remainder of this section presents the results of GE (with GECS included on a one-line basis) and GECS. See the Segment Operations section for a more detailed discussion of the businesses within GE and GECS.

Significant matters relating to our Statement of Earnings are explained below.

 
(28)

 

GE sales of product services were $41.9 billion in 2011, an increase of 14% compared with 2010, and operating profit from product services was $11.8 billion in 2011, an increase of 15% compared with 2010. Both the sales and operating profit of product services increases were at Energy Infrastructure, Aviation, Transportation and Healthcare.

Postretirement benefit plans costs were $4.1 billion, $3.0 billion and $2.6 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Costs increased in 2011 primarily due to the continued amortization of 2008 investment losses and the effects of lower discount rates (principal pension plans discount rate decreased from 5.78% at December 31, 2009 to 5.28% at December 31, 2010). Costs increased in 2010 primarily due to the amortization of 2008 investment losses and the effects of lower discount rates (principal pension plans discount rate decreased from 6.11% at December 31, 2008 to 5.78% at December 31, 2009), partially offset by lower early retirement costs.

Our discount rate for our principal pension plans at December 31, 2011 was 4.21%, which reflected current historically low interest rates. Considering the current and expected asset allocations, as well as historical and expected returns on various categories of assets in which our plans are invested, we have assumed that long-term returns on our principal pension plan assets will be 8.0% for cost recognition in 2012, compared to 8.0% in 2011 and 8.5% in both 2010 and 2009. GAAP provides recognition of differences between assumed and actual returns over a period no longer than the average future service of employees. See the Critical Accounting Estimates section for additional information.

We expect the costs of our postretirement benefits to increase in 2012 by approximately $1.3 billion as compared to 2011, primarily because of the effects of additional 2008 investment loss amortization and lower discount rates.

Pension expense for our principal pension plans on a GAAP basis was $2.4 billion, $1.1 billion and $0.5 billion for 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Operating pension costs (non-GAAP) for these plans were $1.4 billion in both 2011 and 2010 and $2.0 billion in 2009. Operating earnings include service cost and plan amendment amortization for our principal pension plans as these costs represent expenses associated with employee benefits earned. Operating earnings exclude non-operating pension cost/income such as interest cost, expected return on plan assets and non-cash amortization of actuarial gains and losses. We expect operating pension costs for these plans will be about $1.7 billion in 2012.

The GE Pension Plan was underfunded by $13.2 billion at the end of 2011 as compared to $2.8 billion at December 31, 2010. The GE Supplementary Pension Plan, which is an unfunded plan, had projected benefit obligations of $5.2 billion and $4.4 billion at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively. The increase in underfunding from year-end 2010 was primarily attributable to the effects of lower discount rates and lower investment returns. Our principal pension plans discount rate decreased from 5.28% at December 31, 2010 to 4.21% at December 31, 2011, which increased the pension benefit obligation at year-end 2011 by approximately $7.4 billion. A 100 basis point increase in our pension discount rate would decrease the pension benefit obligation at year-end by approximately $7.0 billion. Our GE Pension Plan assets decreased from $44.8 billion at the end of 2010 to $42.1 billion at December 31, 2011, primarily driven by benefit payments made during the year which were partially offset by investment returns. Assets of the GE Pension Plan are held in trust, solely for the benefit of Plan participants, and are not available for general company operations.

On an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) basis, the GE Pension Plan was 92% funded at January 1, 2012. We will contribute approximately $1.0 billion to the GE Pension Plan in 2012.  Funding requirements are determined as prescribed by ERISA and for GE, are based on the Plan’s funded status as of the beginning of the previous year and future contributions may vary based on actual plan results. Assuming our 2012 actual experience is consistent with our current benefit assumptions (e.g., expected return on assets and interest rates), we expect to make about $2.1 billion in contributions to the GE Pension Plan in 2013.

 
(29)

 

At December 31, 2011, the fair value of assets for our other pension plans was $3.3 billion less than the respective projected benefit obligations. The comparable amount at December 31, 2010, was $2.1 billion. We expect to contribute $0.7 billion to our other pension plans in 2012, compared with actual contributions of $0.7 billion and $0.6 billion in 2011 and 2010, respectively. We fund our retiree health benefits on a pay-as-you-go basis. The unfunded liability for our principal retiree health and life plans was $12.1 billion and $10.9 billion at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively. This increase was primarily attributable to the effects of lower discount rates (retiree health and life plans discount rate decreased from 5.15% at December 31, 2010 to 4.09% at December 31, 2011), partially offset by lower cost trends. We expect to contribute $0.6 billion to these plans in 2012 compared with actual contributions of $0.6 billion in both 2011 and 2010.

The funded status of our postretirement benefits plans and future effects on operating results depend on economic conditions and investment performance. For additional information about funded status, components of earnings effects and actuarial assumptions, see Note 12 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

GE other costs and expenses are selling, general and administrative expenses. These costs were 18.5%, 16.3% and 14.3% of total GE sales in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The vast majority of this 2011 increase was driven by higher pension costs and increased research and development spending. The increase in 2010 is primarily due to higher research and development spending, increased selling expenses to support global growth and higher pension costs, partially offset by lower restructuring and other charges.

Interest on borrowings and other financial charges amounted to $14.5 billion, $15.6 billion and $17.7 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Substantially all of our borrowings are in financial services, where interest expense was $13.9 billion, $14.5 billion and $16.9 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. GECS average borrowings declined from 2010 to 2011 and from 2009 to 2010, in line with changes in average GECS assets. Interest rates have decreased over the three-year period primarily attributable to declining global benchmark interest rates. GECS average borrowings were $453.2 billion, $472.6 billion and $484.9 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The GECS average composite effective interest rate was 3.1% in 2011, 3.1% in 2010 and 3.5% in 2009. In 2011, GECS average assets of $592.9 billion were 3% lower than in 2010, which in turn were 3% lower than in 2009. See the Liquidity and Borrowings section for a discussion of liquidity, borrowings and interest rate risk management.

Income taxes have a significant effect on our net earnings. As a global commercial enterprise, our tax rates are affected by many factors, including our global mix of earnings, the extent to which those global earnings are indefinitely reinvested outside the United States, legislation, acquisitions, dispositions and tax characteristics of our income. Our tax rates are also affected by tax incentives introduced in the U.S. and other countries to encourage and support certain types of activity. Our tax returns are routinely audited and settlements of issues raised in these audits sometimes affect our tax provisions.

GE and GECS file a consolidated U.S. federal income tax return. This enables GE to use GECS tax deductions and credits to reduce the tax that otherwise would have been payable by GE.

Our consolidated income tax rate is lower than the U.S. statutory rate primarily because of benefits from lower-taxed global operations, including the use of global funding structures, and our 2009 decision to indefinitely reinvest prior-year earnings outside the U.S. There is a benefit from global operations as non-U.S. income is subject to local country tax rates that are significantly below the 35% U.S. statutory rate. These non-U.S. earnings have been indefinitely reinvested outside the U.S. and are not subject to current U.S. income tax. The rate of tax on our indefinitely reinvested non-U.S. earnings is below the 35% U.S. statutory rate because we have significant business operations subject to tax in countries where the tax on that income is lower than the U.S. statutory rate and because GE funds the majority of its non-U.S. operations through foreign companies that are subject to low foreign taxes.

Income taxes (benefit) on consolidated earnings from continuing operations were 28.5% in 2011 compared with 7.3% in 2010 and (11.6)% in 2009.

 
(30)

 

We expect our ability to benefit from non-U.S. income taxed at less than the U.S. rate to continue, subject to changes of U.S. or foreign law, including, as discussed in Note 14 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report, the expiration of the U.S. tax law provision deferring tax on active financial services income. In addition, since this benefit depends on management’s intention to indefinitely reinvest amounts outside the U.S., our tax provision will increase to the extent we no longer indefinitely reinvest foreign earnings.

Our benefits from lower taxed global operations declined to $2.1 billion in 2011 from $2.8 billion in 2010 and from $3.9 billion in 2009 principally because of lower earnings in our operations subject to tax in countries where the tax on that income is lower than the U.S. statutory rate, and from losses for which there was not a full tax benefit. These decreases also reflected management’s decision in 2009 to indefinitely reinvest prior year earnings outside the U.S. The benefit from lower taxed global operations increased in 2011 by $0.1 billion and in 2010 by $0.4 billion due to audit resolutions. To the extent global interest rates and non-U.S. operating income increase we would expect tax benefits to increase, subject to management’s intention to indefinitely reinvest those earnings.

Our benefit from lower taxed global operations included the effect of the lower foreign tax rate on our indefinitely reinvested non-U.S. earnings which provided a tax benefit of $1.5 billion in 2011, $2.0 billion in 2010 and $3.0 billion in 2009. The tax benefit from non-U.S. income taxed at a local country rather than the U.S. statutory tax rate is reported in the effective tax rate reconciliation in the line “Tax on global earnings including exports.”

The increase in the consolidated effective tax rate from 2010 to 2011 was due in significant part to the high effective tax rate on the pre-tax gain on the NBC Universal (NBCU) transaction with Comcast Corporation (Comcast) discussed in Note 2.  This gain increased the consolidated effective tax rate by 12.9 percentage points.  The effective tax rate was also higher because of the increase in 2011 of income in higher taxed jurisdictions.  This decreased the relative effect of our tax benefits from lower-taxed global operations.  In addition, the consolidated income tax rate increased from 2010 to 2011 due to the decrease, discussed above, in the benefit from lower-taxed global operations and the lower benefit from audit resolutions.

Cash income taxes paid in 2011 were $2.9 billion, reflecting the effects of changes to temporary differences between the carrying amount of assets and liabilities and their tax bases and the timing of tax payments to governments.

Our consolidated income tax rate increased from 2009 to 2010 primarily because of an increase during 2010 of income in higher-taxed jurisdictions. This decreased the relative effect of our tax benefits from lower-taxed global operations. In addition, the consolidated income tax rate increased from 2009 to 2010 due to the decrease, discussed above, in the benefit from lower-taxed global operations. These effects were partially offset by an increase in the benefit from audit resolutions, primarily a decrease in the balance of our unrecognized tax benefits from the completion of our 2003-2005 audit with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

A more detailed analysis of differences between the U.S. federal statutory rate and the consolidated rate, as well as other information about our income tax provisions, is provided in Note 14 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report. The nature of business activities and associated income taxes differ for GE and for GECS and a separate analysis of each is presented in the paragraphs that follow.

We believe that the GE effective tax rate is best analyzed in relation to GE earnings before income taxes excluding the GECS net earnings from continuing operations, as GE tax expense does not include taxes on GECS earnings. GE pre-tax earnings from continuing operations, excluding GECS earnings from continuing operations, were $12.6 billion, $12.0 billion and $12.6 billion for 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. On this basis, GE’s effective tax rate was 38.3% in 2011, 16.8% in 2010 and 21.8% in 2009.

 
(31)

 

Resolution of audit matters reduced the GE effective tax rate throughout this period. The effects of such resolutions are included in the following captions in Note 14 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.
 
Audit resolutions –
 
 
effect on GE tax rate, excluding GECS earnings
 
 
2011 
 
2010 
 
2009 
 
                   
Tax on global activities including exports
 
 (0.9)
%
 
 (3.3)
%
 
 (0.4)
%
U.S. business credits
 
 (0.4)
   
 (0.5)
   
– 
 
All other – net
 
 (0.7)
   
 (0.8)
   
 (0.2)
 
   
 (2.0)
%
 
 (4.6)
%
 
 (0.6)
%


The GE effective tax rate increased from 2010 to 2011 primarily because of the high effective tax rate on the pre-tax gain on the NBCU transaction with Comcast reflecting the low tax basis in our investments in the NBCU business and the recognition of deferred tax liabilities related to our 49% investment in NBCUniversal LLC (NBCU LLC) (see Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report). This gain increased the GE effective tax rate by 19.7 percentage points.  In addition, the effective tax rate increased because of the 2.6 percentage point decrease in the benefit from audit resolutions shown above.
 
The GE effective tax rate decreased from 2009 to 2010 primarily because of the 4.0 percentage point increase in the benefit from audit resolutions shown above.

The GECS effective income tax rate is lower than the U.S. statutory rate primarily because of benefits from lower-taxed global operations, including the use of global funding structures. There is a tax benefit from global operations as non-U.S. income is subject to local country tax rates that are significantly below the 35% U.S. statutory rate. These non-U.S. earnings have been indefinitely reinvested outside the U.S. and are not subject to current U.S. income tax. The rate of tax on our indefinitely reinvested non-U.S. earnings is below the 35% U.S. statutory rate because we have significant business operations subject to tax in countries where the tax on that income is lower than the U.S. statutory rate and because GECS funds the majority of its non-U.S. operations through foreign companies that are subject to low foreign taxes.

We expect our ability to benefit from non-U.S. income taxed at less than the U.S. rate to continue subject to changes of U.S. or foreign law, including, as discussed in Note 14 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report, the expiration of the U.S. tax law provision deferring tax on active financial services income. In addition, since this benefit depends on management’s intention to indefinitely reinvest amounts outside the U.S., our tax provision will increase to the extent we no longer indefinitely reinvest foreign earnings.

As noted above, GE and GECS file a consolidated U.S. federal income tax return. This enables GE to use GECS tax deductions and credits to reduce the tax that otherwise would have been payable by GE. The GECS effective tax rate for each period reflects the benefit of these tax reductions in the consolidated return. GE makes cash payments to GECS for these tax reductions at the time GE’s tax payments are due. The effect of GECS on the amount of the consolidated tax liability from the formation of the NBCU joint venture will be settled in cash when GECS tax deductions and credits otherwise would have reduced the liability of the group absent the tax on joint venture formation.

 
(32)

 

The GECS effective tax rate was 12.0% in 2011, compared with (48.4)% in 2010 and 144.3% in 2009. Comparing a tax benefit to pre-tax income resulted in a negative tax rate in 2010. Comparing a tax benefit to a pre-tax loss results in the positive tax rate in 2009. The GECS tax expense of $0.9 billion in 2011 increased by $1.9 billion from a $1.0 billion benefit in 2010. The higher 2011 tax expense resulted principally from higher pre-tax income in 2011 than in 2010, which increased pre-tax income $5.4 billion and increased the expense ($1.9 billion). Also increasing the expense was a benefit from resolution of the 2006-2007 IRS audit ($0.2 billion) that was less than the benefit from resolution of the 2003-2005 IRS audit ($0.3 billion) both of which are reported in the caption “All other-net” in the effective tax rate reconciliation in Note14 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K.

The GECS tax benefit of $3.9 billion in 2009 decreased by $2.9 billion to $1.0 billion in 2010. The lower 2010 tax benefit resulted in large part from the change from a pre-tax loss in 2009 to pre-tax income in 2010, which increased pre-tax income $4.7 billion and decreased the benefit ($1.7 billion), the non-repeat of the one-time benefit related to the 2009 decision (discussed below) to indefinitely reinvest undistributed prior year non-U.S. earnings ($0.7 billion), and a decrease in lower-taxed global operations in 2010 as compared to 2009 ($0.6 billion) caused in part by an increase in losses for which there was not a full tax benefit, including an increase in the valuation allowance associated with the deferred tax asset related to the 2008 loss on the sale of GE Money Japan ($0.2 billion). These lower benefits were partially offset by the benefit from the resolution of the 2003-2005 IRS audit ($0.3 billion).

Global Risk Management
 
A disciplined approach to risk is important in a diversified organization like ours in order to ensure that we are executing according to our strategic objectives and that we only accept risk for which we are adequately compensated. We evaluate risk at the individual transaction level, and evaluate aggregated risk at the customer, industry, geographic and collateral-type levels, where appropriate.

Risk assessment and risk management are the responsibility of management. The GE Board of Directors (Board) has oversight for risk management with a focus on the most significant risks facing the company, including strategic, operational, financial and legal and compliance risks. At the end of each year, management and the Board jointly develop a list of major risks that GE plans to prioritize in the next year. Throughout the year, the Board and the committees to which it has delegated responsibility dedicate a portion of their meetings to review and discuss specific risk topics in greater detail. Strategic, operational and reputational risks are presented and discussed in the context of the CEO’s report on operations to the Board at regularly scheduled Board meetings and at presentations to the Board and its committees by the vice chairmen, chief risk officer (CRO), general counsel and other employees. The Board has delegated responsibility for the oversight of specific risks to Board committees as follows:

 
(33)

 
 
·  
In 2011, the Board established a Risk Committee. This Committee oversees GE’s risk management of key risks, including strategic, operational (including product risk), financial (including credit, liquidity and exposure to broad market risk) and reputational risks, and the guidelines, policies and processes for monitoring and mitigating such risks. Starting in 2011, as part of its overall risk oversight responsibilities for GE, the Risk Committee also began overseeing risks related to GE Capital, which previously was subject to direct Audit Committee oversight.
 
 
·  
The Audit Committee oversees GE’s and GE Capital’s policies and processes relating to the financial statements, the financial reporting process, compliance and auditing. The Audit Committee monitors ongoing compliance issues and matters, and also annually conducts an assessment of compliance issues and programs.
 
·  
The Public Responsibilities Committee oversees risk management related to GE’s public policy initiatives, the environment and similar matters, and monitors the Company’s environmental, health and safety compliance.
 
 
·  
The Management Development and Compensation Committee oversees the risk management associated with management resources, structure, succession planning, management development and selection processes, and includes a review of incentive compensation arrangements to confirm that incentive pay does not encourage unnecessary risk taking and to review and discuss, at least annually, the relationship between risk management policies and practices, corporate strategy and senior executive compensation. 

·  
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee oversees risk related to the company’s governance structure and processes and risks arising from related person transactions.
 
The GE Board’s risk oversight process builds upon management’s risk assessment and mitigation processes, which include standardized reviews of long-term strategic and operational planning; executive development and evaluation; code of conduct compliance under the Company’s The Spirit & The Letter; regulatory compliance; health, safety and environmental compliance; financial reporting and controllership; and information technology and security. GE’s CRO is responsible for overseeing and coordinating risk assessment and mitigation on an enterprise-wide basis. The CRO leads the Corporate Risk Function and is responsible for the identification of key business risks, providing for appropriate management of these risks within GE Board guidelines, and enforcement through policies and procedures. Management has two committees to further assist it in assessing and mitigating risk. The Corporate Risk Committee (CRC) meets periodically, is chaired by the CRO and comprises the Chairman and CEO, vice chairmen, general counsel and other senior level business and functional leaders. It has principal responsibility for evaluating and addressing risks escalated to the CRO and Corporate Risk Function. The Policy Compliance Review Board met 15 times in 2011, is chaired by the company’s general counsel and includes the chief financial officer and other senior level functional leaders. It has principal responsibility for monitoring compliance matters across the company.

GE's Corporate Risk Function leverages the risk infrastructures in each of our businesses, which have adopted an approach that corresponds to the company’s overall risk policies, guidelines and review mechanisms. Our risk infrastructure operates at the business and functional level and is designed to identify, evaluate and mitigate risks within each of the following categories:

·  
Strategic. Strategic risk relates to the company’s future business plans and strategies, including the risks associated with the markets and industries in which we operate, demand for our products and services, competitive threats, technology and product innovation, mergers and acquisitions and public policy.
 
 
·  
Operational. Operational risk relates to risks (systems, processes, people and external events) that affect the operation of our businesses. It includes product life cycle and execution, product safety and performance, information management and data protection and security, business disruption, human resources and reputation.
 
 

 
(34)

 

·  
Financial. Financial risk relates to our ability to meet financial obligations and mitigate credit risk, liquidity risk and exposure to broad market risks, including volatility in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates and commodity prices. Liquidity risk is the risk of being unable to accommodate liability maturities, fund asset growth and meet contractual obligations through access to funding at reasonable market rates, and credit risk is the risk of financial loss arising from a customer or counterparty failure to meet its contractual obligations. We face credit risk in our industrial businesses, as well as in our GE Capital investing, lending and leasing activities and derivative financial instruments activities.
 
 
·  
Legal and Compliance. Legal and compliance risk relates to risks arising from the government and regulatory environment and action, compliance with integrity policies and procedures, including those relating to financial reporting, environmental health and safety, and intellectual property risks. Government and regulatory risk includes the risk that the government or regulatory actions will impose additional cost on us or cause us to have to change our business models or practices.

Risks identified through our risk management processes are prioritized and, depending on the probability and severity of the risk, escalated to the CRO. The CRO, in coordination with the CRC, assigns responsibility for the risks to the business or functional leader most suited to manage the risk. Assigned owners are required to continually monitor, evaluate and report on risks for which they bear responsibility. Enterprise risk leaders within each business and corporate function are responsible to present to the CRO and CRC risk assessments and key risks at least annually. We have general response strategies for managing risks, which categorize risks according to whether the company will avoid, transfer, reduce or accept the risk. These response strategies are tailored to ensure that risks are within acceptable GE Board general guidelines.

Depending on the nature of the risk involved and the particular business or function affected, we use a wide variety of risk mitigation strategies, including delegation of authorities, standardized processes and strategic planning reviews, operating reviews, insurance, and hedging. As a matter of policy, we generally hedge the risk of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices. Our service businesses employ a comprehensive tollgate process leading up to and through the execution of a contractual service agreement to mitigate legal, financial and operational risks. Furthermore, we centrally manage some risks by purchasing insurance, the amount of which is determined by balancing the level of risk retained or assumed with the cost of transferring risk to others. We manage the risk of fluctuations in economic activity and customer demand by monitoring industry dynamics and responding accordingly, including by adjusting capacity, implementing cost reductions and engaging in mergers, acquisitions and dispositions.

GE Capital Risk Management and Oversight
 
GE Capital has a robust risk infrastructure and robust processes to manage risks related to its businesses, and the GE Corporate Risk Function relies upon them in fulfilling its mission.

The GE Risk Committee was established to oversee GE Capital’s risk appetite, risk assessment and management processes previously undertaken by the GE Audit Committee.  The GECC Board of Directors oversees the GE Capital risk management framework, and approves all significant acquisitions and dispositions as well as significant borrowings and investments. The GECC Board of Directors exercises control over investment activities in the business units through delegations of authority. All participants in the GE Capital risk management process must comply with approval limits established by the GECC Board.

The Enterprise Risk Management Committee (ERMC), which comprises the most senior leaders in GE Capital as well as the GE CRO oversees the implementation of the GE Capital’s risk appetite, and senior management’s establishment of appropriate systems (including policies, procedures, and management committees) to ensure enterprise risks are effectively identified, measured, monitored, and controlled. Day to day risk oversight for GE Capital is provided by an independent global risk management organization which includes the GE Capital corporate function in addition to risk officers embedded in the individual business units. The Risk Leaders in the business units have dual reporting relationships, reporting both into the local business management and also to the GE Capital corporate-level function leader, which further strengthens their independence.

 
(35)

 


GE Capital’s risk management approach rests upon three major tenets: a broad spread of risk based on managed exposure limits; senior, secured commercial financings; and a hold-to-maturity model with transactions underwritten to “on-book” standards. Dedicated risk professionals across the businesses include underwriters, portfolio managers, collectors, environmental or engineering specialists, and specialized asset managers. The senior risk officers have, on average, over 25 years of experience.

GE Capital manages risk categories identified in GE Capital’s business environment, which if materialized, could prevent GE Capital from achieving its risk objectives and/or result in losses. These risks are defined as GE Capital’s Enterprise Risk Universe, which includes the following risks: strategic (including earnings and capital), liquidity, credit, market and operational (including financial, compliance, information technology, human resources and legal). Reputational risk is considered and managed across each of the categories. GE Capital has made significant investments in resources to enhance its risk management infrastructure, in particular with regard to compliance, market and operational risk, liquidity and capital management.

GE Capital’s Corporate Risk function, in consultation with the ERMC, updates the Enterprise Risk Appetite Statement annually.  This document articulates the enterprise risk objectives, its key universe of risks and the supporting limit structure. GE Capital’s risk appetite is determined relative to its desired risk objectives, including, but not limited to credit ratings, capital levels, liquidity management, regulatory assessments, earnings, dividends and compliance. GE Capital determines its risk appetite through consideration of portfolio analytics, including stress testing and economic capital measurement, experience and judgment of senior risk officers, current portfolio levels, strategic planning, and regulatory and rating agency expectations.

The Enterprise Risk Appetite is presented to the GECC Board and the GE Risk Committee for review and approval at least annually. On a quarterly basis, the status of GE Capital’s performance against these limits is reviewed by the GE Risk Committee.

GE Capital acknowledges risk-taking as a fundamental characteristic of providing financial services.  It is inherent to its business and arises in lending, leasing and investment transactions undertaken by GE Capital.  GE Capital utilizes its risk capacity judiciously in pursuit of its strategic goals and risk objectives.

GE Capital uses stress testing for risk, liquidity and capital adequacy assessment and management purposes, and as an integral part of GE Capital’s overall planning processes.  Stress testing results inform key strategic portfolio decisions such as capital allocation, assist in developing the risk appetite and limits, and help in assessing product specific risk to guide the development and modification of product structures. The ERMC approves the high-level scenarios for, and reviews the results of, GE Capital-wide stress tests across key risk areas, such as credit and investment, liquidity and market risk. Stress test results are also expressed in terms of impact to capital levels and metrics, and that information is reviewed with the GECC Board and the GE Risk Committee at least twice a year. Stress testing requirements are set forth in GE Capital’s approved risk policies. Key policies, such as the Enterprise Risk Management Policy, the Enterprise Risk Appetite Statement and the Liquidity and Capital Management policies are approved by the GECC Board and the GE Risk Committee at least annually. GE Capital, in coordination with and under the oversight of the GE CRO, provides risk reports to the GE Risk Committee. At these meetings, which occur at least four times a year, GE Capital senior management focuses on the risk strategy and the risk oversight processes used to manage the elements of risk managed by the ERMC.

Operational risks are inherent in GE Capital’s business activities and are typical of any large enterprise. GE Capital’s Operational Risk Management program seeks to effectively manage operational risk to reduce the potential for significant unexpected losses, and to minimize the impact of losses experienced in the normal course of business.

Additional information about our liquidity and how we manage this risk can be found in the Financial Resources and Liquidity section. Additional information about our credit risk and GECS portfolio can be found in the Financial Resources and Liquidity and Critical Accounting Estimates sections. Additional information about our market risk and how we manage this risk can be found in the Financial Resources and Liquidity section.

 
(36)

 

Segment Operations
Effective January 1, 2011, we reorganized the former Technology Infrastructure segment into three segments – Aviation, Healthcare, and Transportation.  The prior-period results of the Aviation, Healthcare and Transportation businesses are unaffected by this reorganization.  Results of our formerly consolidated subsidiary, NBCU, and our current equity method investment in NBCU LLC are reported in the Corporate items and eliminations line on the Summary of Operating Segments.

Our six segments are focused on the broad markets they serve: Energy Infrastructure, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation, Home & Business Solutions and GE Capital. In addition to providing information on segments in their entirety, we have also provided supplemental information for certain businesses within the segments for greater clarity.

Segment profit is determined based on internal performance measures used by the Chief Executive Officer to assess the performance of each business in a given period. In connection with that assessment, the Chief Executive Officer may exclude matters such as charges for restructuring; rationalization and other similar expenses; in-process research and development and certain other acquisition-related charges and balances; technology and product development costs; certain gains and losses from acquisitions or dispositions; and litigation settlements or other charges, responsibility for which preceded the current management team.
 
 
Segment profit excludes results reported as discontinued operations, earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests of consolidated subsidiaries and accounting changes. Segment profit excludes or includes interest and other financial charges and income taxes according to how a particular segment’s management is measured – excluded in determining segment profit, which we sometimes refer to as “operating profit,” for Energy Infrastructure, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation, and Home & Business Solutions; included in determining segment profit, which we sometimes refer to as “net earnings,” for GE Capital. Prior to January 1, 2011, segment profit excluded the effects of principal pension plans. Beginning January 1, 2011, we began allocating service costs related to our principal pension plans and no longer allocate the retiree costs of our postretirement healthcare benefits to our segments. This revised allocation methodology better aligns segment operating costs to the active employee costs, which are managed by the segments. This change does not significantly affect reported segment results.

To better serve Oil & Gas customers, Energy’s Measurement & Control business was moved to Oil & Gas in October 2011. Measurement & Control addresses sensor-based measurement, inspection, asset condition monitoring and controls needs. In addition, three business units from Energy’s acquisition of Dresser were also transferred to Oil & Gas in 2011.  We have reclassified certain prior-period amounts to conform to the current-period presentation.  For additional information about our segments, see Part I, Item 1. “Business” and Note 28 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.
 
 
(37)

 
                             
Summary of Operating Segments
 
General Electric Company and consolidated affiliates
(In millions)
 
2011 
   
2010 
   
2009 
   
2008 
   
2007 
                             
Revenues
                           
Energy Infrastructure
$
43,694 
 
$
37,514 
 
$
40,648 
 
$
43,046 
 
$
34,880 
Aviation
 
18,859 
   
17,619 
   
18,728 
   
19,239 
   
16,819 
Healthcare
 
18,083 
   
16,897 
   
16,015 
   
17,392 
   
16,997 
Transportation
 
4,885 
   
3,370 
   
3,827 
   
5,016 
   
4,523 
Home & Business Solutions
 
8,465 
   
8,648 
   
8,443 
   
10,117 
   
11,026 
      Total industrial revenues
 
93,986 
   
84,048 
   
87,661 
   
94,810 
   
84,245 
GE Capital
 
45,730 
   
46,422 
   
48,906 
   
65,900 
   
65,625 
      Total segment revenues
 
139,716 
   
130,470 
   
136,567 
   
160,710 
   
149,870 
Corporate items and eliminations(a)
 
7,584 
   
19,123 
   
17,871 
   
19,127 
   
20,094 
Consolidated revenues
$
147,300 
 
$
149,593 
 
$
154,438 
 
$
179,837 
 
$
169,964 
Segment profit
                           
Energy Infrastructure
$
6,650 
 
$
7,271 
 
$
7,105 
 
$
6,497 
 
$
5,238 
Aviation
 
3,512 
   
3,304 
   
3,923 
   
3,684 
   
3,222 
Healthcare
 
2,803 
   
2,741 
   
2,420 
   
2,851 
   
3,056 
Transportation
 
757 
   
315 
   
473 
   
962 
   
936 
Home & Business Solutions
 
300 
   
457 
   
370 
   
365 
   
983 
      Total industrial segment profit
 
14,022 
   
14,088 
   
14,291 
   
14,359 
   
13,435 
GE Capital
 
6,549 
   
3,158 
   
1,325 
   
7,841 
   
12,179 
      Total segment profit
 
20,571 
   
17,246 
   
15,616 
   
22,200 
   
25,614 
Corporate items and eliminations(a)
 
(359)
   
(1,105)
   
(593)
   
1,184 
   
1,441 
GE interest and other financial
                           
   charges
 
(1,299)
   
(1,600)
   
(1,478)
   
(2,153)
   
(1,993)
GE provision for income taxes
 
(4,839)
   
(2,024)
   
(2,739)
   
(3,427)
   
(2,794)
Earnings from continuing operations
 
14,074 
   
12,517 
   
10,806 
   
17,804 
   
22,268 
Earnings (loss) from discontinued
                           
   operations, net of taxes
 
77 
   
(873)
   
219 
   
(394)
   
(60)
Consolidated net earnings
                           
attributable to the Company
$
14,151 
 
$
11,644 
 
$
11,025 
 
$
17,410 
 
$
22,208 
                             
                             
(a)  
Includes the result of NBCU, our formerly consolidated subsidiary, and our current equity method investment in NBCUniversal LLC.

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.
 


Energy Infrastructure
(In millions)
2011 
 
2010 
 
2009 
                 
Revenues
$
43,694 
 
$
37,514 
 
$
40,648 
                 
Segment profit
$
6,650 
 
$
7,271 
 
$
7,105 
                 
Revenues
               
   Energy
$
31,080 
 
$
29,040 
 
$
31,858 
   Oil & Gas
 
13,663 
   
9,483 
   
9,701 
                 
Segment profit
               
   Energy
$
4,992 
 
$
5,887 
 
$
5,736 
   Oil & Gas
 
1,872 
   
1,553 
   
1,532 


Energy Infrastructure revenues increased 16% or $6.2 billion (including $4.1 billion from acquisitions) in 2011 as higher volume ($5.8 billion) and the effects of the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.9 billion) were partially offset by lower prices ($0.5 billion). Higher volume was mainly driven by acquisitions and an increase in sales of services at both Energy and Oil & Gas. The effects of the weaker U.S. dollar and lower prices were at both Energy and Oil & Gas.

 
(38)

 

Segment profit decreased 9%, or $0.6 billion, as lower productivity ($1.4 billion), driven primarily by the wind turbines business, acquisitions and investment in our global organization and new technology, and lower prices ($0.5 billion), driven primarily by the wind turbines business, were partially offset by higher volume ($1.1 billion), and the effects of deflation ($0.1 billion). Lower productivity, lower prices, higher volume and the effects of deflation were at both Energy and Oil & Gas.

Energy Infrastructure segment revenues decreased 8%, or $3.1 billion, in 2010 as lower volume ($3.3 billion) and the stronger U.S. dollar ($0.4 billion) were partially offset by higher prices ($0.5 billion) and higher other income ($0.1 billion). Lower volume primarily reflected decreases in thermal and wind equipment sales at Energy. The effects of the stronger U.S. dollar were at both Energy and Oil & Gas. Higher prices at Energy were partially offset by lower prices at Oil & Gas. The increase in other income at Energy was partially offset by lower other income at Oil & Gas.

Segment profit increased 2% to $7.3 billion in 2010, compared with $7.1 billion in 2009 as higher prices ($0.5 billion), the effects of deflation ($0.4 billion) and higher other income ($0.1 billion) were partially offset by lower volume ($0.6 billion), the stronger U.S. dollar ($0.1 billion) and decreased productivity ($0.1 billion). Higher prices at Energy were partially offset by lower prices at Oil & Gas. The effects of deflation primarily reflected decreased material costs at both Energy and Oil & Gas. An increase in other income at Energy was partially offset by lower other income at Oil & Gas. Lower volume primarily reflected decreases in wind and thermal equipment sales at Energy and was partially offset by higher volume at Oil & Gas. The effects of the stronger U.S. dollar were at both Energy and Oil & Gas. The effects of decreased productivity were primarily at Energy.

Energy Infrastructure equipment orders increased 39% to $25.6 billion at December 31, 2011. Total Energy Infrastructure backlog increased 8% to $72.7 billion at December 31, 2011, composed of equipment backlog of $23.0 billion and services backlog of $49.7 billion. Comparable December 31, 2010 equipment and service order backlogs were $18.3 billion and $48.8 billion, respectively. See Corporate Items and Eliminations for a discussion of items not allocated to this segment.

Aviation revenues of $18.9 billion in 2011 increased $1.2 billion, or 7%, due primarily to higher volume ($1.1 billion) and higher prices ($0.2 billion), partially offset by lower other income ($0.1 billion). Higher volume and higher prices were driven by increased services ($0.9 billion) and equipment sales ($0.4 billion). The increase in services revenue was primarily due to higher commercial spares sales while the increase in equipment revenue was primarily due to commercial engines.

Segment profit of $3.5 billion in 2011 increased $0.2 billion, or 6%, due primarily to higher volume ($0.2 billion) and higher prices ($0.2 billion), partially offset by higher inflation, primarily non-material related ($0.1 billion), and lower other income ($0.1 billion). Incremental research and development and GEnx product launch costs offset higher productivity.

Aviation revenues of $17.6 billion in 2010 decreased $1.1 billion, or 6%, as lower volume ($1.2 billion) and lower other income ($0.1 billion), reflecting lower transaction gains, were partially offset by higher prices ($0.2 billion). The decrease in volume reflected decreased commercial and military equipment sales and services. Lower transaction gains reflect the absence of gains related to the Airfoils Technologies International – Singapore Pte. Ltd. (ATI) acquisition and the Times Microwave Systems disposition in 2009, partially offset by a gain on a partial sale of a materials business and a franchise fee.

Segment profit of $3.3 billion in 2010 decreased $0.6 billion, or 16%, due to lower productivity ($0.4 billion), lower volume ($0.2 billion) and lower other income ($0.2 billion), reflecting lower transaction gains, partially offset by higher prices ($0.2 billion). Lower productivity was primarily due to product launch and production costs associated with the GEnx engine shipments.

Aviation equipment orders increased 33% to $11.9 billion at December 31, 2011. Total Aviation backlog increased 24% to $99.0 billion at December 31, 2011, composed of equipment backlog of $22.5 billion and services backlog of $76.5 billion. Comparable December 31, 2010 equipment and service order backlogs were $20.0 billion and $59.5 billion, respectively. See Corporate Items and Eliminations for a discussion of items not allocated to this segment.

 
(39)

 


Healthcare revenues of $18.1 billion in 2011 increased $1.2 billion, or 7%, due to higher volume ($1.0 billion) and the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.4 billion), partially offset by lower prices ($0.3 billion). The revenue increase was split between equipment sales ($0.7 billion) and services ($0.5 billion). Revenue increased in the U.S. and international markets, with the strongest growth in emerging markets.

Segment profit of $2.8 billion in 2011 increased 2%, or $0.1 billion, reflecting increased productivity ($0.3 billion), higher volume ($0.2 billion) and the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.1 billion), partially offset by lower prices ($0.3 billion) and higher inflation ($0.1 billion), primarily non-material related.

Healthcare revenues of $16.9 billion in 2010 increased $0.9 billion, or 6%, reflecting higher volume ($1.0 billion) and the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.1 billion), partially offset by lower prices ($0.2 billion). The increase in volume reflected increased equipment sales ($0.7 billion) and services ($0.2 billion).

Segment profit of $2.7 billion in 2010 increased $0.3 billion, or 13%, due to higher productivity ($0.3 billion), higher volume ($0.2 billion) and the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.1 billion), partially offset by lower prices ($0.2 billion).

Healthcare equipment orders increased 7% to $10.5 billion at December 31, 2011. Total Healthcare backlog increased 1% to $13.5 billion at December 31, 2011, composed of equipment backlog of $3.9 billion and services backlog of $9.6 billion. Comparable December 31, 2010 equipment and service order backlogs were $3.9 billion and $9.5 billion, respectively. See Corporate Items and Eliminations for a discussion of items not allocated to this segment.

Transportation revenues of $4.9 billion in 2011 increased $1.5 billion, or 45%, due to higher volume ($1.5 billion) related to increased equipment sales ($0.9 billion) and services ($0.6 billion). The increase in equipment revenue was primarily driven by an increase in U.S. and international locomotive sales and growth in our global mining equipment business. The increase in service revenue was due to higher overhauls and increased service productivity.

Segment profit of $0.8 billion in 2011 increased $0.4 billion, or over 100%, as a result of increased productivity ($0.4 billion), reflecting improved service margins, and higher volume ($0.1 billion), partially offset by higher inflation ($0.1 billion).

Transportation revenues of $3.4 billion in 2010 decreased $0.5 billion, or 12%, primarily due to lower volume ($0.5 billion). The decrease in volume reflected decreased equipment sales ($0.3 billion) and services ($0.1 billion).

Segment profit of $0.3 billion in 2010 decreased $0.2 billion, or 33%, due to lower productivity ($0.1 billion) and lower volume ($0.1 billion). Lower productivity was primarily due to higher service costs.

Transportation equipment orders decreased 31% to $2.2 billion at December 31, 2011. Total Transportation backlog decreased 1% to $15.1 billion at December 31, 2011, composed of equipment backlog of $3.3 billion and services backlog of $11.8 billion. Comparable December 31, 2010 equipment and service order backlogs were $3.7 billion and $11.6 billion, respectively. See Corporate Items and Eliminations for a discussion of items not allocated to this segment.

Home & Business Solutions revenues of $8.5 billion decreased $0.2 billion, or 2%, in 2011 reflecting a decrease in Appliances partially offset by higher revenues at Lighting and Intelligent Platforms. Overall, revenues decreased primarily as a result of lower volume ($0.3 billion) principally in our appliances business, partially offset by the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.1 billion) and increased prices.

Segment profit of $0.3 billion in 2011 decreased 34%, or $0.2 billion, as the effects of inflation ($0.3 billion) and lower volume were partially offset by the effects of the weaker U.S. dollar, increased productivity and increased prices.

 
(40)

 

Home & Business Solutions revenues increased 2%, or $0.2 billion, to $8.6 billion in 2010 compared with 2009 as higher volume ($0.4 billion) and higher other income ($0.1 billion) was partially offset by lower prices ($0.2 billion). The increase in volume reflected increased sales across all businesses. The decrease in price was primarily at Appliances.

Segment profit increased 24%, or $0.1 billion, to $0.5 billion in 2010, primarily as a result of the effects of productivity ($0.2 billion) and increased other income primarily related to associated companies ($0.1 billion), partially offset by lower prices ($0.2 billion).

GE Capital
               
(In millions)
 
2011 
   
2010 
   
2009 
                 
Revenues
$
45,730 
 
$
46,422 
 
$
48,906 
Segment profit
$
6,549 
 
$
3,158 
 
$
1,325 


December 31 (In millions)
 
2011 
   
2010 
           
Total assets
$
552,514 
 
$
565,337 


(In millions)
 
2011 
   
2010 
   
2009 
                 
Revenues
               
   Commercial Lending and Leasing (CLL)
$
18,178 
 
$
18,447 
 
$
20,762 
   Consumer
 
16,781 
   
17,204 
   
16,794 
   Real Estate
 
3,712 
   
3,744 
   
4,009 
   Energy Financial Services
 
1,223 
   
1,957 
   
2,117 
   GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
 
5,262 
   
5,127 
   
4,594 
                 
Segment profit (loss)
               
   CLL
$
2,720 
 
$
1,554 
 
$
963 
   Consumer
 
3,551 
   
2,523 
   
1,282 
   Real Estate
 
(928)
   
(1,741)
   
(1,541)
   Energy Financial Services
 
440 
   
367 
   
212 
   GECAS
 
1,150 
   
1,195 
   
1,016 


December 31 (In millions)
 
2011 
   
2010 
     
                 
Total assets
               
   CLL
$
193,869 
 
$
202,650 
     
   Consumer
 
139,000 
   
147,327 
     
   Real Estate
 
60,873 
   
72,630 
     
   Energy Financial Services
 
18,357 
   
19,549 
     
   GECAS
 
48,821 
   
49,106 
     
                 
                 

GE Capital revenues decreased 1% and net earnings increased favorably in 2011 as compared with 2010. Revenues for 2011 and 2010 included $0.3 billion and $0.2 billion, respectively, from acquisitions and were reduced by $1.1 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively, as a result of dispositions. Revenues also increased as a result of the gain on sale of a substantial portion of our Garanti Bank equity investment (the Garanti Bank transaction), the weaker U.S. dollar and higher gains and investment income, partially offset by reduced revenues from lower ENI. Net earnings increased by $3.4 billion in 2011, primarily due to lower provisions for losses on financing receivables, the gain on the Garanti Bank transaction and lower impairments. GE Capital net earnings in 2011 also included restructuring, rationalization and other charges of $0.1 billion and net losses of $0.2 billion related to our Treasury operations.

 
(41)

 


During 2011, GE Capital provided approximately $104 billion of new financings in the U.S. to various companies, infrastructure projects and municipalities. Additionally, we extended approximately $87 billion of credit to approximately 56 million U.S. consumers. GE Capital provided credit to approximately 19,600 new commercial customers and 37,000 new small businesses in the U.S. during 2011 and ended the period with outstanding credit to more than 284,000 commercial customers and 191,000 small businesses through retail programs in the U.S.

GE Capital revenues decreased 5% and net earnings increased favorably in 2010 as compared with 2009. Revenues for 2010 and 2009 included $0.2 billion and $0.1 billion of revenues from acquisitions, respectively, and in 2010 were increased by $0.1 billion and in 2009 were reduced by $2.3 billion as a result of dispositions, including the effects of the 2010 deconsolidation of Regency Energy Partners L.P. (Regency) and the 2009 deconsolidation of Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. (PTL). The 2010 deconsolidation of Regency included a $0.1 billion gain on the sale of our general partnership interest in Regency and remeasurement of our retained investment (the Regency transaction). Revenues for 2010 also decreased $0.6 billion compared with 2009 as a result of organic revenue declines primarily driven by a lower asset base and a lower interest rate environment, partially offset by the weaker U.S. dollar. Net earnings increased for 2010 compared with 2009, primarily due to lower provisions for losses on financing receivables, lower selling, general and administrative costs and the gain on the Regency transaction, offset by higher marks and impairments, mainly at Real Estate, the absence of the first quarter 2009 tax benefit from the decision to indefinitely reinvest prior-year earnings outside the U.S., and the absence of the first quarter 2009 gain related to the PTL sale. GE Capital net earnings in 2010 also included restructuring, rationalization and other charges of $0.2 billion and net losses of $0.1 billion related to our Treasury operations.

Additional information about certain GE Capital businesses follows.

CLL 2011 revenues decreased 1% and net earnings increased 75% compared with 2010. Revenues decreased as a result of organic revenue declines ($1.1 billion), primarily due to lower ENI, partially offset by the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.5 billion) and higher gains and investment income ($0.4 billion). Net earnings increased in 2011, reflecting lower provisions for losses on financing receivables ($0.6 billion), higher gains and investment income ($0.3 billion), core increases ($0.2 billion) and lower impairments ($0.1 billion).

CLL 2010 revenues decreased 11% and net earnings increased 61% compared with 2009. Revenues in 2010 and 2009 included $0.2 billion and $0.1 billion, respectively, from acquisitions, and in 2010 were reduced by $1.2 billion from dispositions, primarily related to the 2009 deconsolidation of PTL. Revenues in 2010 also decreased $1.2 billion compared with 2009 as a result of organic revenue declines ($1.4 billion), partially offset by the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.2 billion). Net earnings increased by $0.6 billion in 2010, reflecting lower provisions for losses on financing receivables ($0.6 billion), higher gains ($0.2 billion) and lower selling, general and administrative costs ($0.1 billion). These increases were partially offset by the absence of the gain on the PTL sale and remeasurement ($0.3 billion) and declines in lower-taxed earnings from global operations ($0.1 billion).

Consumer 2011 revenues decreased 2% and net earnings increased 41% compared with 2010. Revenues included $0.3 billion from acquisitions and were reduced by $0.4 billion as a result of dispositions. Revenues in 2011 also decreased $0.3 billion as a result of organic revenue declines ($1.4 billion), primarily due to lower ENI, and higher impairments ($0.1 billion), partially offset by the gain on the Garanti Bank transaction ($0.7 billion), the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.5 billion) and higher gains ($0.1 billion). The increase in net earnings resulted primarily from lower provisions for losses on financing receivables ($1.0 billion), the gain on the Garanti Bank transaction ($0.3 billion) and acquisitions ($0.1 billion), partially offset by lower Garanti results ($0.2 billion), and core decreases ($0.2 billion).

Consumer 2010 revenues increased 2% and net earnings increased 97% compared with 2009. Revenues in 2010 were reduced by $0.3 billion as a result of dispositions. Revenues in 2010 increased $0.7 billion compared with 2009 as a result of the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.4 billion) and organic revenue growth ($0.4 billion). The increase in net earnings resulted primarily from core growth ($1.3 billion) and the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.1 billion), partially offset by the effects of dispositions ($0.1 billion). Core growth included lower provisions for losses on financing receivables across most platforms ($1.5 billion) and lower selling, general and administrative costs ($0.2 billion), partially offset by declines in lower-taxed earnings from global operations ($0.7 billion) including the absence of the first quarter 2009

 
(42)

 

tax benefit ($0.5 billion) from the decision to indefinitely reinvest prior-year earnings outside the U.S. and an increase in the valuation allowance associated with Japan ($0.2 billion).

Real Estate 2011 revenues decreased 1% and net earnings increased 47% compared with 2010.  Revenues decreased as organic revenue declines ($0.4 billion), primarily due to lower ENI, were partially offset by increases in net gains on property sales ($0.2 billion) and the weaker U.S. dollar ($0.1 billion). Real Estate net earnings increased compared with 2010, as lower impairments ($0.7 billion), a decrease in provisions for losses on financing receivables ($0.4 billion) and increases in net gains on property sales ($0.2 billion) were partially offset by core declines ($0.4 billion). Depreciation expense on real estate equity investments totaled $0.9 billion and $1.0 billion in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Real Estate 2010 revenues decreased 7% and net earnings decreased 13% compared with 2009. Revenues for 2010 decreased $0.3 billion compared with 2009 as a result of organic revenue declines and a decrease in property sales, partially offset by the weaker U.S. dollar. Real Estate net earnings decreased $0.2 billion compared with 2009, primarily from an increase in impairments related to equity properties and investments ($0.9 billion), partially offset by a decrease in provisions for losses on financing receivables ($0.4 billion), and core increases ($0.3 billion). Depreciation expense on real estate equity investments totaled $1.0 billion and $1.2 billion for 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Energy Financial Services 2011 revenues decreased 38% and net earnings increased 20% compared with 2010. Revenues decreased primarily as a result of the deconsolidation of Regency Energy Partners L.P. (Regency) ($0.7 billion) and organic revenue declines ($0.3 billion), primarily from an asset sale in 2010 by an investee. These decreases were partially offset by higher gains ($0.2 billion). The increase in net earnings resulted primarily from higher gains ($0.2 billion), partially offset by the deconsolidation of Regency ($0.1 billion) and core decreases, primarily from an asset sale in 2010 by an investee.

Energy Financial Services 2010 revenues decreased 8% and net earnings increased 73% compared with 2009. Revenues in 2010 included a $0.1 billion gain related to the Regency transaction and in 2009 were reduced by $0.1 billion of gains from dispositions. Revenues in 2010 decreased compared with 2009 as a result of organic revenue growth ($0.4 billion), primarily increases in associated company revenues resulting from an asset sale by an investee ($0.2 billion), more than offset by the deconsolidation of Regency. The increase in net earnings resulted primarily from core increases ($0.1 billion), primarily increases in associated company earnings resulting from an asset sale by an investee ($0.2 billion) and the gain related to the Regency transaction ($0.1 billion).

GECAS 2011 revenues increased 3% and net earnings decreased 4% compared with 2010. Revenues for 2011 increased compared with 2010 as a result of organic revenue growth ($0.1 billion). The decrease in net earnings resulted primarily from core decreases ($0.1 billion), reflecting the 2010 benefit from resolution of the 2003-2005 IRS audit, partially offset by lower impairments ($0.1 billion).

GECAS 2010 revenues increased 12% and net earnings increased 18% compared with 2009. Revenues in 2010 increased compared with 2009 as a result of organic revenue growth ($0.5 billion), including higher investment income. The increase in net earnings resulted primarily from core increases ($0.2 billion), including the benefit from resolution of the 2003-2005 IRS audit, lower credit losses and higher investment income, partially offset by higher impairments related to our operating lease portfolio of commercial aircraft.
 
 
 
(43)

 
Corporate Items and Eliminations
               
(In millions)
 
2011
   
2010
   
2009
                 
Revenues
               
   Gains on disposed businesses
$
 3,705 
 
$
 105 
 
$
 303 
   Insurance activities
 
 3,437 
   
 3,596 
   
 3,383 
   NBCU/NBCU LLC
 
 1,981 
   
 16,901 
   
 15,436 
   Eliminations and other
 
 (1,539)
   
 (1,479)
   
 (1,251)
Total
$
 7,584 
 
$
 19,123 
 
$
 17,871 
                 
Operating profit (cost)
               
   Gains on disposed businesses
$
 3,705 
 
$
 105 
 
$
 303 
   NBCU/NBCU LLC
 
 830 
   
 2,261 
   
 2,264 
   Insurance activities
 
 (58)
   
 (58)
   
 (79)
   Principal retirement plans(a)
 
 (1,898)
   
 (493)
   
 (230)
   Underabsorbed corporate overhead and other costs
 
 (2,938)
   
 (2,920)
   
 (2,851)
Total
$
 (359)
 
$
 (1,105)
 
$
 (593)
                 


(a)  
Included non-operating (non-GAAP) pension income (cost) of $(1.1) billion, $0.3 billion and $1.5 billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively, which includes interest costs, expected return on plan assets and non-cash amortization of actuarial gains and losses.  Also included operating (non-GAAP) pension income (costs) of $(1.4) billion, $(1.4) billion and $(2.0) billion in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively, which includes service cost and plan amendment amortization. See the Supplemental Information section of this Item.


Corporate items and eliminations revenues of $7.6 billion in 2011 decreased $11.5 billion as a $14.9 billion reduction in revenues from NBCU LLC operations resulting from the deconsolidation of NBCU effective January 28, 2011 and $0.3 billion of lower revenues from other disposed businesses were partially offset by a $3.7 billion pre-tax gain related to the NBCU transaction. Corporate items and eliminations costs decreased by $0.7 billion as $3.6 billion of higher gains from disposed businesses, primarily the NBCU transaction, and a $0.6 billion decrease in restructuring, rationalization, acquisition-related and other charges were partially offset by $1.4 billion of higher costs of our principal retirement plans, $1.4 billion of lower earnings from NBCU/NBCU LLC operations and a $0.6 billion increase in research and development spending and global corporate costs.

Certain amounts included in Corporate items and eliminations cost are not allocated to GE operating segments because they are excluded from the measurement of their operating performance for internal purposes. For 2011, these included $0.4 billion at Energy Infrastructure for acquisition-related costs and $0.4 billion at Healthcare, $0.3 billion at Energy Infrastructure, $0.2 billion at Aviation and $0.1 billion at both Home & Business Solutions and Transportation, primarily for technology and product development costs and restructuring, rationalization and other charges.

In 2011, underabsorbed corporate overhead and other costs was flat compared with 2010, as increased costs at our global research centers and global corporate costs were offset by lower restructuring and other charges (including acquisition-related costs) of $0.6 billion.  In 2010, underabsorbed corporate overhead and other costs increased by $0.1 billion as compared with 2009, as increased costs at our global research centers and staff costs and lower income from operations of disposed businesses were partially offset by lower restructuring and other charges (including environmental remediation costs related to the Hudson River dredging project) of $0.6 billion.

Discontinued Operations
               
(In millions)
 
2011 
   
2010 
   
2009 
                 
Earnings (loss) from discontinued
               
   operations, net of taxes
$
77 
 
$
(873)
 
$
219 


 
(44)

 

Discontinued operations primarily comprised BAC, GE Money Japan, WMC, Consumer RV Marine, Consumer Mexico, Consumer Singapore and Australian Home Lending. Associated results of operations, financial position and cash flows are separately reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented.

In 2011, earnings from discontinued operations, net of taxes, included a $0.3 billion gain related to the sale of Consumer Singapore and earnings from operations at Australian Home Lending of $0.1 billion, partially offset by incremental reserves for excess interest claims related to our loss-sharing arrangement on the 2008 sale of GE Money Japan of $0.2 billion and the loss on the sale of Australian Home Lending of $0.1 billion.
 
 
In 2010, loss from discontinued operations, net of taxes, primarily reflected incremental reserves for excess interest claims related to our loss-sharing arrangement on the 2008 sale of GE Money Japan of $1.7 billion and estimated after-tax losses of $0.2 billion and $0.1 billion on the planned sales of Consumer Mexico and Consumer RV Marine, respectively, partially offset by an after-tax gain on the sale of BAC of $0.8 billion and earnings from operations at Consumer Mexico of $0.2 billion and at BAC of $0.1 billion.

In 2009, earnings from discontinued operations, net of taxes, primarily reflected earnings from operations of BAC of $0.3 billion, Australian Home Lending of $0.1 billion and Consumer Mexico of $0.1 billion, partially offset by incremental reserves for excess interest claims related to our loss-sharing arrangement on the 2008 sale of GE Money Japan of $0.2 billion and loss from operations at Consumer RV Marine of $0.1 billion.

For additional information related to discontinued operations, see Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

Geographic Operations
 
Our global activities span all geographic regions and primarily encompass manufacturing for local and export markets, import and sale of products produced in other regions, leasing of aircraft, sourcing for our plants domiciled in other global regions and provision of financial services within these regional economies. Thus, when countries or regions experience currency and/or economic stress, we often have increased exposure to certain risks, but also often have new profit opportunities. New profit opportunities include, among other things, more opportunities for expansion of industrial and financial services activities through purchases of companies or assets at reduced prices and lower U.S. debt financing costs.

Revenues are classified according to the region to which products and services are sold. For purposes of this analysis, the U.S. is presented separately from the remainder of the Americas. We classify certain operations that cannot meaningfully be associated with specific geographic areas as “Other Global” for this purpose.

Geographic Revenues
               
(In billions)
 
2011 
   
2010 
   
2009 
                 
U.S.
$
69.8 
 
$
75.1 
 
$
75.8 
Europe
 
29.1 
   
31.0 
   
36.3 
Pacific Basin
 
23.2 
   
20.8 
   
19.3 
Americas
 
13.2 
   
11.7 
   
11.3 
Middle East and Africa
 
9.8 
   
9.0 
   
9.8 
Other Global
 
2.2 
   
2.0 
   
1.9 
Total
$
147.3 
 
$
149.6 
 
$
154.4 


Global revenues increased 4% to $77.5 billion in 2011, compared with $74.5 billion and $78.6 billion in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Global revenues to external customers as a percentage of consolidated revenues were 53% in 2011, compared with 50% in 2010 and 51% in 2009. The effects of currency fluctuations on reported results increased revenues by $2.5 billion in 2011, increased revenues by $0.5 billion in 2010 and decreased revenues by $3.9 billion in 2009.

 
(45)

 

GE global revenues, excluding GECS, in 2011 were $54.3 billion, up 9% over 2010. Increases in growth markets of 29% in Latin America, 28% in China and 46% in Australia more than offset decreases of 12% in Western Europe. These revenues as a percentage of GE total revenues, excluding GECS, were 55% in 2011, compared with 50% and 52% in 2010 and 2009, respectively. GE global revenues, excluding GECS, were $49.8 billion in 2010, down 6% from 2009, primarily resulting from decreases in Europe, Middle East and Africa, partially offset by an increase in Latin America.

GECS global revenues decreased 6% to $23.2 billion in 2011, compared with $24.7 billion and $25.7 billion in 2010 and 2009, respectively, primarily as a result of decreases in Western Europe. GECS global revenues as a percentage of total GECS revenues were 47% in 2011, compared with 50% in both 2010 and 2009. GECS global revenue decreased by 4% in 2010 from $25.7 billion in 2009, primarily as a result of decreases in Europe, partially offset by an increase in Australia.
 

Total Assets (continuing operations)
         
December 31 (In billions)
 
2011 
   
2010 
           
U.S.
$
335.6 
 
$
322.8 
Europe
 
213.0 
   
250.2 
Pacific Basin
 
62.3 
   
62.6 
Americas
 
46.7 
   
41.9 
Other Global
 
58.4 
   
57.9 
Total
$
716.0 
 
$
735.4 


Total assets of global operations on a continuing basis were $380.4 billion in 2011, a decrease of $32.2 billion, or 8%, from 2010. GECS global assets on a continuing basis of $319.3 billion at the end of 2011 were 1% lower than at the end of 2010, reflecting declines in Europe, primarily due to dispositions and portfolio run-off in various businesses at Consumer and lower financing receivables and equipment leased to others at CLL.

Financial results of our global activities reported in U.S. dollars are affected by currency exchange. We use a number of techniques to manage the effects of currency exchange, including selective borrowings in local currencies and selective hedging of significant cross-currency transactions. Such principal currencies are the pound sterling, the euro, the Japanese yen, the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar.

Environmental Matters
 
Our operations, like operations of other companies engaged in similar businesses, involve the use, disposal and cleanup of substances regulated under environmental protection laws. We are involved in a number of remediation actions to clean up hazardous wastes as required by federal and state laws. Such statutes require that responsible parties fund remediation actions regardless of fault, legality of original disposal or ownership of a disposal site. Expenditures for site remediation actions amounted to approximately $0.3 billion in 2011, $0.2 billion in 2010 and $0.3 billion in 2009. We presently expect that such remediation actions will require average annual expenditures of about $0.4 billion for each of the next two years.

In 2006, we entered into a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dredge PCB-containing sediment from the upper Hudson River. The consent decree provided that the dredging would be performed in two phases. Phase 1 was completed in May through November of 2009. Between Phase 1 and Phase 2 there was an intervening peer review by an independent panel of national experts. The panel evaluated the performance of Phase 1 dredging operations with respect to Phase 1 Engineering Performance Standards and recommended proposed changes to the standards. On December 17, 2010, EPA issued its decision setting forth the final performance standards for Phase 2 of the Hudson River dredging project, incorporating aspects of the recommendations from the independent peer review panel and from GE. In December 2010, we agreed to perform Phase 2 of the project in accordance with the final performance standards set by EPA and increased our reserve by $0.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 to account for the probable and estimable costs of completing Phase 2. In

 
(46)

 

2011, we completed the first year of Phase 2 dredging and commenced work on planned upgrades to the Hudson River wastewater processing facility.  Based on the results from 2011 dredging and our best professional engineering judgment, we believe that our current reserve continues to reflect our probable and estimable costs for the remainder of Phase 2 of the dredging project.

Financial Resources and Liquidity
 
This discussion of financial resources and liquidity addresses the Statement of Financial Position, Liquidity and Borrowings, Debt and Derivative Instruments, Guarantees and Covenants, the Consolidated Statement of Changes in Shareowners’ Equity, the Statement of Cash Flows, Contractual Obligations, and Variable Interest Entities.

Overview of Financial Position
 
Major changes to our shareowners’ equity are discussed in the Consolidated Statement of Changes in Shareowners’ Equity section. In addition, other significant changes to balances in our Statement of Financial Position follow.

Statement of Financial Position
 
Because GE and GECS share certain significant elements of their Statements of Financial Position – property, plant and equipment and borrowings, for example – the following discussion addresses significant captions in the “consolidated” statement. Within the following discussions, however, we distinguish between GE and GECS activities in order to permit meaningful analysis of each individual consolidating statement.

Investment securities comprise mainly investment grade debt securities supporting obligations to annuitants, policyholders and holders of guaranteed investment contracts (GICs) in our run-off insurance operations and Trinity, and investment securities at our treasury operations and investments held in our CLL business collateralized by senior secured loans of high-quality, middle-market companies in a variety of industries. The fair value of investment securities increased to $47.4 billion at December 31, 2011 from $43.9 billion at December 31, 2010. Of the amount at December 31, 2011, we held debt securities with an estimated fair value of $46.3 billion, which included corporate debt securities, asset-backed securities (ABS), residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) with estimated fair values of $26.1 billion, $5.0 billion, $2.6 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively. Net unrealized gains on debt securities were $3.0 billion and $0.6 billion at December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, respectively. This amount included unrealized losses on corporate debt securities, ABS, RMBS and CMBS of $0.6 billion, $0.2 billion, $0.3 billion and $0.2 billion, respectively, at December 31, 2011, as compared with $0.4 billion, $0.2 billion, $0.4 billion and $0.2 billion, respectively, at December 31, 2010.

We regularly review investment securities for impairment using both qualitative and quantitative criteria. We presently do not intend to sell the vast majority of our debt securities and believe that it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell these securities that are in an unrealized loss position before recovery of our amortized cost. We believe that the unrealized loss associated with our equity securities will be recovered within the foreseeable future.

Our RMBS portfolio is collateralized primarily by pools of individual, direct mortgage loans (a majority of which were originated in 2006 and 2005), not other structured products such as collateralized debt obligations. Substantially all of our RMBS are in a senior position in the capital structure of the deals and more than 75% are agency bonds or insured by Monoline insurers (on which we continue to place reliance). Of our total RMBS portfolio at December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, approximately $0.5 billion and $0.7 billion, respectively, relate to residential subprime credit, primarily supporting our guaranteed investment contracts. A majority of exposure to residential subprime credit related to investment securities backed by mortgage loans originated in 2006 and 2005. Substantially all of the subprime RMBS were investment grade at the time of purchase and approximately 70% have been subsequently downgraded to below investment grade.

Our CMBS portfolio is collateralized by both diversified pools of mortgages that were originated for securitization (conduit CMBS) and pools of large loans backed by high quality properties (large loan CMBS), a majority of which were originated in 2007 and 2006. Substantially all of the securities in our CMBS portfolio have investment grade credit ratings and the vast majority of the securities are in a senior position in the capital structure.

 
(47)

 

Our ABS portfolio is collateralized by senior secured loans of high-quality, middle-market companies in a variety of industries, as well as a variety of diversified pools of assets such as student loans and credit cards. The vast majority of our ABS are in a senior position in the capital structure of the deals. In addition, substantially all of the securities that are below investment grade are in an unrealized gain position.

If there has been an adverse change in cash flows for RMBS, management considers credit enhancements such as Monoline insurance (which are features of a specific security). In evaluating the overall creditworthiness of the Monoline insurer (Monoline), we use an analysis that is similar to the approach we use for corporate bonds, including an evaluation of the sufficiency of the Monoline’s cash reserves and capital, ratings activity, whether the Monoline is in default or default appears imminent, and the potential for intervention by an insurance or other regulator.

Monolines provide credit enhancement for certain of our investment securities, primarily RMBS and municipal securities. The credit enhancement is a feature of each specific security that guarantees the payment of all contractual cash flows, and is not purchased separately by GE. The Monoline industry continues to experience financial stress from increasing delinquencies and defaults on the individual loans underlying insured securities. We continue to rely on Monolines with adequate capital and claims paying resources. We have reduced our reliance on Monolines that do not have adequate capital or have experienced regulator intervention. At December 31, 2011, our investment securities insured by Monolines on which we continue to place reliance were $1.6 billion, including $0.3 billion of our $0.5 billion investment in subprime RMBS. At December 31, 2011, the unrealized loss associated with securities subject to Monoline credit enhancement, for which there is an expected credit loss, was $0.3 billion.

Total pre-tax, other-than-temporary impairment losses during 2011 were $0.5 billion, of which $0.4 billion was recognized in earnings and primarily relates to credit losses on non-U.S. government and non-U.S. corporate securities and other-than-temporary losses on equity securities and $0.1 billion primarily relates to non-credit related losses on RMBS and is included within accumulated other comprehensive income.

Total pre-tax, other-than-temporary impairment losses during 2010 were $0.5 billion, of which $0.3 billion was recognized in earnings and primarily relates to credit losses on RMBS, non-U.S. government securities, non-U.S. corporate securities and other-than-temporary losses on equity securities, and $0.2 billion primarily relates to non-credit related losses on RMBS and is included within accumulated other comprehensive income.

Our qualitative review attempts to identify issuers’ securities that are “at-risk” of other-than-temporary impairment, that is, for securities that we do not intend to sell and it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell before recovery of our amortized cost, whether there is a possibility of credit loss that would result in an other-than-temporary impairment recognition in the following 12 months. Securities we have identified as “at-risk” primarily relate to investments in RMBS and non-U.S. corporate debt securities across a broad range of industries. The amount of associated unrealized loss on these securities at December 31, 2011, is $0.6 billion. Unrealized losses are not indicative of the amount of credit loss that would be recognized as credit losses are determined based on adverse changes in expected cash flows rather than fair value.  For further information relating to how credit losses are calculated, see Note 3 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.  Uncertainty in the capital markets may cause increased levels of other-than-temporary impairments.

At both December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, unrealized losses on investment securities totaled $1.6 billion, including $1.2 billion aged 12 months or longer at December 31, 2011 and $1.3 billion aged 12 months or longer at December 31, 2010. Of the amount aged 12 months or longer at December 31, 2011, more than 70% are debt securities that were considered to be investment grade by the major rating agencies. In addition, of the amount aged 12 months or longer, $0.7 billion and $0.3 billion related to structured securities (mortgage-backed, asset-backed and securitization retained interests) and corporate debt securities, respectively. With respect to our investment securities that are in an unrealized loss position at December 31, 2011, the majority relate to debt securities held to support obligations to holders of GICs. We presently do not intend to sell the vast majority of our debt securities and believe that it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell these securities that are in an unrealized loss position before recovery of our amortized cost. For additional information, see Note 3 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

 
(48)

 


Fair Value Measurements. For financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis, fair value is the price we would receive to sell an asset or pay to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction with a market participant at the measurement date. In the absence of active markets for the identical assets or liabilities, such measurements involve developing assumptions based on market observable data and, in the absence of such data, internal information that is consistent with what market participants would use in a hypothetical transaction that occurs at the measurement date. Additional information about our application of this guidance is provided in Notes 1 and 21 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.  At December 31, 2011, the aggregate amount of investments that are measured at fair value through earnings totaled $5.9 billion and consisted primarily of various assets held for sale in the ordinary course of business, as well as equity investments.

Working capital, representing GE current receivables and inventories, less GE accounts payable and progress collections, increased $1.6 billion at December 31, 2011, compared to December 31, 2010 due to increases in receivables and inventory, and lower progress collections, partially offset by increased accounts payable. As Energy Infrastructure and Aviation deliver units out of their backlogs over the next few years, progress collections of $11.3 billion at December 31, 2011, will be earned, which, along with progress collections on new orders, will impact working capital. Throughout the last five years, we have executed a significant number of initiatives through our Operating Council, such as lean cycle time projects, which have resulted in a more efficient use of working capital. The Operating Council meets at least eight times per year and is led by our Chairman. We discuss current receivables and inventories, two important elements of working capital, in the following paragraphs.

Current receivables for GE totaled to $11.8 billion at the end of 2011 and $10.4 billion at the end of 2010, and included $9.0 billion due from customers at the end of 2011 compared with $8.1 billion at the end of 2010. GE current receivables turnover was 8.3 in 2011, compared with 8.6 in 2010. The overall increase in current receivables was primarily due to the higher volume and acquisitions at Energy Infrastructure ($1.1 billion).

Inventories for GE totaled to $13.7 billion at December 31, 2011, up $2.3 billion from the end of 2010. This increase reflected higher inventories at Energy Infrastructure, partially due to acquisitions ($1.0 billion), Aviation and Transportation. GE inventory turnover was 7.0 and 7.2 in 2011 and 2010, respectively. See Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

Financing receivables is our largest category of assets and represents one of our primary sources of revenues. Our portfolio of financing receivables is diverse and not directly comparable to major U.S. banks. A discussion of the quality of certain elements of the financing receivables portfolio follows.

Our consumer portfolio is largely non-U.S. and primarily comprises mortgage, sales finance, auto and personal loans in various European and Asian countries. Our U.S. consumer financing receivables comprise 16% of our total portfolio. Of those, approximately 65% relate primarily to credit cards, which are often subject to profit and loss sharing arrangements with the retailer (the results of which are reflected in revenues), and have a smaller average balance and lower loss severity as compared to bank cards. The remaining 35% are sales finance receivables, which provide electronics, recreation, medical and home improvement financing to customers. In 2007, we exited the U.S. mortgage business and we have no U.S. auto or student loans.

Our commercial portfolio primarily comprises senior, secured positions with comparatively low loss history. The secured receivables in this portfolio are collateralized by a variety of asset classes, which for our CLL business primarily include: industrial-related facilities and equipment, vehicles, corporate aircraft, and equipment used in many industries, including the construction, manufacturing, transportation, media, communications, entertainment, and healthcare industries. The portfolios in our Real Estate, GECAS and Energy Financial Services businesses are collateralized by commercial real estate, commercial aircraft and operating assets in the global energy industry, respectively. We are in a secured position for substantially all of our commercial portfolio.

 
(49)

 

Losses on financing receivables are recognized when they are incurred, which requires us to make our best estimate of probable losses inherent in the portfolio. The method for calculating the best estimate of losses depends on the size, type and risk characteristics of the related financing receivable. Such an estimate requires consideration of historical loss experience, adjusted for current conditions, and judgments about the probable effects of relevant observable data, including present economic conditions such as delinquency rates, financial health of specific customers and market sectors, collateral values (including housing price indices as applicable), and the present and expected future levels of interest rates. The underlying assumptions, estimates and assessments we use to provide for losses are updated periodically to reflect our view of current conditions. Changes in such estimates can significantly affect the allowance and provision for losses. It is possible to experience credit losses that are different from our current estimates.

Our risk management process includes standards and policies for reviewing major risk exposures and concentrations, and evaluates relevant data either for individual loans or financing leases, or on a portfolio basis, as appropriate.

Loans acquired in a business acquisition are recorded at fair value, which incorporates our estimate at the acquisition date of the credit losses over the remaining life of the portfolio. As a result, the allowance for losses is not carried over at acquisition. This may have the effect of causing lower reserve coverage ratios for those portfolios.

For purposes of the discussion that follows, “delinquent” receivables are those that are 30 days or more past due based on their contractual terms; and “nonearning” receivables are those that are 90 days or more past due (or for which collection is otherwise doubtful). Nonearning receivables exclude loans purchased at a discount (unless they have deteriorated post acquisition). Under FASB ASC 310, Receivables, these loans are initially recorded at fair value and accrete interest income over the estimated life of the loan based on reasonably estimable cash flows even if the underlying loans are contractually delinquent at acquisition. In addition, nonearning receivables exclude loans that are paying on a cash accounting basis but classified as nonaccrual and impaired. “Nonaccrual” financing receivables include all nonearning receivables and are those on which we have stopped accruing interest. We stop accruing interest at the earlier of the time at which collection of an account becomes doubtful or the account becomes 90 days past due. Recently restructured financing receivables are not considered delinquent when payments are brought current according to the restructured terms, but may remain classified as nonaccrual until there has been a period of satisfactory payment performance by the borrower and future payments are reasonably assured of collection.

Further information on the determination of the allowance for losses on financing receivables and the credit quality and categorization of our financing receivables is provided in the Critical Accounting Estimates section of this Item and Notes 1, 6 and 23 to the consolidated financial statements in part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.
 
 
(50)

 
 
Financing receivables at
 
Nonearning receivables at
 
Allowance for losses at
 
December 31,
 
December 31,
 
December 31,
 
December 31,
 
December 31,
 
December 31,
(In millions)
2011 
 
2010 
 
2011 
 
2010 
 
2011 
 
2010 
                                   
Commercial
                                 
CLL
                                 
Americas(a)
$
80,505 
 
$
88,558 
 
$
1,862 
 
$
2,573 
 
$
889 
 
$
1,288 
Europe
 
36,899 
   
37,498 
   
1,167 
   
1,241 
   
400 
   
429 
Asia
 
11,635 
   
11,943 
   
269 
   
406 
   
157 
   
222 
Other(a)
 
436 
   
664 
   
11 
   
   
   
Total CLL
 
129,475 
   
138,663 
   
3,309 
   
4,226 
   
1,450 
   
1,945 
                                   
Energy
                                 
  Financial
                                 
     Services
 
5,912 
   
7,011 
   
22 
   
62 
   
26 
   
22 
                                   
GECAS
 
11,901 
   
12,615 
   
55 
   
– 
   
17 
   
20 
                                   
Other
 
1,282 
   
1,788 
   
65 
   
102 
   
37 
   
58 
Total
                                 
  Commercial
 
148,570 
   
160,077 
   
3,451 
   
4,390 
   
1,530 
   
2,045 
                                   
Real Estate
                                 
Debt(b)
 
24,501 
   
30,249 
   
541 
   
961 
   
949 
   
1,292 
Business
                                 
  Properties(c)
 
8,248 
   
9,962 
   
249 
   
386 
   
140 
   
196 
Total Real Estate
 
32,749 
   
40,211 
   
790 
   
1,347 
   
1,089 
   
1,488 
                                   
Consumer
                                 
Non-U.S.
                                 
  residential
                                 
    mortgages(d)
 
36,170 
   
40,011 
   
3,349 
   
3,738 
   
706 
   
803 
Non-U.S.
                                 
    installment
                                 
      and revolving
                                 
        credit
 
18,544 
   
20,132 
   
263 
   
289 
   
717 
   
937 
U.S. installment
                                 
  and revolving
                                 
    credit
 
46,689 
   
43,974 
   
990 
   
1,201 
   
2,008 
   
2,333 
Non-U.S. auto
 
5,691 
   
7,558 
   
43 
   
46 
   
101 
   
168 
Other
 
7,244 
   
8,304 
   
419 
   
478 
   
199 
   
259 
Total Consumer
 
114,338 
   
119,979 
   
5,064 
   
5,752 
   
3,731 
   
4,500 
Total
$
295,657 
 
$
320,267 
 
$
9,305 
 
$
11,489 
 
$
6,350 
 
$
8,033 
                                   
                                   

(a)  
During 2011, we transferred our Railcar lending and leasing portfolio from CLL Other to CLL Americas. Prior-period amounts were reclassified to conform to the current-period presentation.
 
(b)  
Financing receivables included $0.1 billion and $0.2 billion of construction loans at December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, respectively.
 
(c)  
Our Business Properties portfolio is underwritten primarily by the credit quality of the borrower and secured by tenant and owner-occupied commercial properties.
 
(d)  
At December 31, 2011, net of credit insurance, approximately 25% of our secured Consumer non-U.S. residential mortgage portfolio comprised loans with introductory, below market rates that are scheduled to adjust at future dates; with high loan-to-value ratios at inception (greater than 90%); whose terms permitted interest-only payments; or whose terms resulted in negative amortization. At origination, we underwrite loans with an adjustable rate to the reset value. Of these loans, 79% are in our U.K. and France portfolios, which comprise mainly loans with interest-only payments and introductory below market rates, have a delinquency rate of 15%, have a loan-to-value ratio at origination of 76% and have re-indexed loan-to-value ratios of 84% and 56%, respectively. At December 31, 2011, 6% (based on dollar values) of these loans in our U.K. and France portfolios have been restructured.
 
 

 
(51)

 

The portfolio of financing receivables, before allowance for losses, was $295.7 billion at December 31, 2011, and $320.3 billion at December 31, 2010. Financing receivables, before allowance for losses, decreased $24.6 billion from December 31, 2010, primarily as a result of collections exceeding originations ($14.9 billion) (which includes sales), write-offs ($7.2 billion) and the stronger U.S. dollar ($1.5 billion), partially offset by acquisitions ($3.6 billion). The $24.6 billion decline in financing receivables excludes financing receivables of $11.5 billion, previously reported in Discontinued operations or Assets of businesses held for sale (primarily non-U.S. residential mortgages and non-U.S. installment and revolving credit) associated with 2011 business and portfolio dispositions. See Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

Related nonearning receivables totaled $9.3 billion (3.1% of outstanding receivables) at December 31, 2011, compared with $11.5 billion (3.6% of outstanding receivables) at December 31, 2010. Nonearning receivables decreased from December 31, 2010, primarily due to write-offs and discounted payoffs in Real Estate, improved performance in Commercial and improvements in our entry rates in Consumer.

The allowance for losses at December 31, 2011 totaled $6.4 billion compared with $8.0 billion at December 31, 2010, representing our best estimate of probable losses inherent in the portfolio. Allowance for losses decreased $1.7 billion from December 31, 2010, primarily because provisions were lower than write-offs, net of recoveries by $1.5 billion, which is attributable to a reduction in the overall financing receivables balance and an improvement in the overall credit environment. The allowance for losses as a percent of total financing receivables decreased from 2.5% at December 31, 2010 to 2.1% at December 31, 2011 primarily due to a decrease in the allowance for losses as discussed above, partially offset by a decline in the overall financing receivables balance as collections exceeded originations. Further information surrounding the allowance for losses related to each of our portfolios is detailed below.

 
(52)

 

The following table provides information surrounding selected ratios related to nonearning financing receivables and the allowance for losses.

 
Nonearning financing receivables
   
Allowance for losses
   
Allowance for losses
 
 
as a percent of
   
as a percent of
   
as a percent of
 
 
financing receivables at
   
nonearning financing receivables at
   
total financing receivables at
 
 
December 31,
   
December 31,
   
December 31,
   
December 31,
   
December 31,
   
December 31,
 
 
2011 
   
2010 
   
2011 
   
2010 
   
2011 
   
2010 
 
Commercial
                                 
CLL
                                 
Americas
2.3 
%
 
2.9 
%
 
47.7 
%
 
50.1 
%
 
1.1 
%
 
1.5 
%
Europe
3.2 
   
3.3 
   
34.3 
   
34.6 
   
1.1 
   
1.1 
 
Asia
2.3 
   
3.4 
   
58.4 
   
54.7 
   
1.3 
   
1.9 
 
Other
2.5 
   
0.9 
   
36.4 
   
100.0 
   
0.9 
   
0.9 
 
Total CLL
2.6 
   
3.0 
   
43.8 
   
46.0 
   
1.1 
   
1.4 
 
                                   
Energy Financial Services
0.4 
   
0.9 
   
118.2 
   
35.5 
   
0.4 
   
0.3 
 
                                   
GECAS
0.5 
   
– 
   
30.9 
   
– 
   
0.1 
   
0.2 
 
                                   
Other
5.1 
   
5.7 
   
56.9 
   
56.9 
   
2.9 
   
3.2 
 
                                   
Total Commercial
2.3 
   
2.7 
   
44.3 
   
46.6 
   
1.0 
   
1.3 
 
                                   
Real Estate
                                 
Debt
2.2 
   
3.2 
   
175.4 
   
134.4 
   
3.9 
   
4.3 
 
Business Properties
3.0 
   
3.9 
   
56.2 
   
50.8 
   
1.7 
   
2.0 
 
                                   
Total Real Estate
2.4 
   
3.3 
   
137.8 
   
110.5 
   
3.3 
   
3.7 
 
                                   
Consumer
                                 
Non-U.S.
                                 
  residential mortgages
9.3 
   
9.3 
   
21.1 
   
21.5 
   
2.0 
   
2.0 
 
Non-U.S.
                                 
  installment and
                                 
    revolving credit
1.4 
   
1.4 
   
272.6 
   
324.2 
   
3.9 
   
4.7 
 
U.S. installment
                                 
 and revolving credit
2.1 
   
2.7 
   
202.8 
   
194.3 
   
4.3 
   
5.3 
 
Non-U.S. auto
0.8 
   
0.6 
   
234.9 
   
365.2 
   
1.8 
   
2.2 
 
Other
5.8 
   
5.8 
   
47.5 
   
54.2 
   
2.7 
   
3.1 
 
                                   
Total Consumer
4.4 
   
4.8 
   
73.7 
   
78.2 
   
3.3 
   
3.8 
 
                                   
Total
3.1 
   
3.6 
   
68.2 
   
69.9 
   
2.1 
   
2.5 
 
                                   

Included below is a discussion of financing receivables, allowance for losses, nonearning receivables and related metrics for each of our significant portfolios.

CLL − Americas. Nonearning receivables of $1.9 billion represented 20.0% of total nonearning receivables at December 31, 2011. The ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables decreased from 50.1% at December 31, 2010, to 47.7% at December 31, 2011, reflecting an overall improvement in the credit quality of the remaining portfolio and an overall decrease in nonearning receivables. The ratio of nonearning receivables as a percent of financing receivables decreased from 2.9% at December 31, 2010, to 2.3% at December 31, 2011, primarily due to reduced nonearning exposures in our healthcare, media, franchise and inventory financing portfolios, which more than offset deterioration in our corporate aircraft portfolio. Collateral supporting these nonearning financing receivables primarily includes assets in the restaurant and hospitality, trucking and industrial equipment industries and corporate aircraft and, for our leveraged finance business, equity of the underlying businesses.

 
(53)

 

CLL – Europe. Nonearning receivables of $1.2 billion represented 12.5% of total nonearning receivables at December 31, 2011. The ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables decreased from 34.6% at December 31, 2010, to 34.3% at December 31, 2011, primarily due to an increase in nonearning receivables in our senior secured lending portfolio, partially offset by a reduction in nonearning receivables related to account restructuring in our asset-backed lending portfolio and improved delinquency in our equipment finance portfolio. The majority of nonearning receivables are attributable to the Interbanca S.p.A. portfolio, which was acquired in 2009. The loans acquired with Interbanca S.p.A. were recorded at fair value, which incorporates an estimate at the acquisition date of credit losses over their remaining life. Accordingly, these loans generally have a lower ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables compared to the remaining portfolio. Excluding the nonearning loans attributable to the 2009 acquisition of Interbanca S.p.A., the ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables decreased from 65.7% at December 31, 2010, to 55.9% at December 31, 2011, for the reasons described above. The ratio of nonearning receivables as a percent of financing receivables decreased from 3.3% at December 31, 2010, to 3.2% at December 31, 2011, as a result of a decrease in nonearning receivables across our equipment finance and asset-backed lending portfolios, partially offset by the increase in nonearning receivables in our senior secured lending portfolio, for the reasons described above. Collateral supporting these secured nonearning financing receivables are primarily equity of the underlying businesses for our senior secured lending and Interbanca S.p.A. businesses, and equipment for our equipment finance portfolio.

CLL – Asia. Nonearning receivables of $0.3 billion represented 2.9% of total nonearning receivables at December 31, 2011. The ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables increased from 54.7% at December 31, 2010, to 58.4% at December 31, 2011, primarily as a result of collections and write-offs of nonearning receivables in our asset-based financing businesses in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The ratio of nonearning receivables as a percent of financing receivables decreased from 3.4% at December 31, 2010, to 2.3% at December 31, 2011, primarily due to the decline in nonearning receivables related to our asset-based financing businesses in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, partially offset by a lower financing receivables balance. Collateral supporting these nonearning financing receivables is primarily commercial real estate, manufacturing equipment, corporate aircraft, and assets in the auto industry.

Real Estate – Debt. Nonearning receivables of $0.5 billion represented 5.8% of total nonearning receivables at December 31, 2011. The decrease in nonearning receivables from December 31, 2010, was driven primarily by the resolution of U.S. multi-family and office nonearning loans, as well as European hotel and retail loans, through restructurings, payoffs and foreclosures, partially offset by new European multi-family delinquencies. The ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables increased from 134.4% to 175.4% reflecting resolution of nonearning loans as mentioned above. The ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of total financing receivables decreased from 4.3% at December 31, 2010 to 3.9% at December 31, 2011, driven primarily by write-offs related to settlements and payoffs from impaired loan borrowers and improvement in collateral values.

The Real Estate financing receivables portfolio is collateralized by income-producing or owner-occupied commercial properties across a variety of asset classes and markets. At December 31, 2011, total Real Estate financing receivables of $32.7 billion were primarily collateralized by owner-occupied properties ($8.2 billion), office buildings ($7.2 billion), apartment buildings ($4.5 billion) and hotel properties ($3.8 billion). In 2011, commercial real estate markets showed signs of improved stability and liquidity in certain markets; however, the pace of improvement varies significantly by asset class and market and the long term outlook remains uncertain. We have and continue to maintain an intense focus on operations and risk management. Loan loss reserves related to our Real Estate–Debt financing receivables are particularly sensitive to declines in underlying property values. Assuming global property values decline an incremental 1% or 5%, and that decline occurs evenly across geographies and asset classes, we estimate incremental loan loss reserves would be required of less than $0.1 billion and approximately $0.2 billion, respectively. Estimating the impact of global property values on loss performance across our portfolio depends on a number of factors, including macroeconomic conditions, property level operating performance, local market dynamics and individual borrower behavior. As a result, any sensitivity analyses or attempts to forecast potential losses carry a high degree of imprecision and are subject to change. At December 31, 2011, we had 119 foreclosed commercial real estate properties totaling $0.7 billion.

 
(54)

 

Consumer − Non-U.S. residential mortgages. Nonearning receivables of $3.3 billion represented 36.0% of total nonearning receivables at December 31, 2011. The ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables decreased from 21.5% at December 31, 2010, to 21.1% at December 31, 2011. In the year ended 2011, our nonearning receivables decreased primarily due to improving portfolio quality in the U.K. Our non-U.S. mortgage portfolio has a loan-to-value ratio of approximately 75% at origination and the vast majority are first lien positions. Our U.K. and France portfolios, which comprise a majority of our total mortgage portfolio, have reindexed loan-to-value ratios of 84% and 56%, respectively. About 4% of these loans are without mortgage insurance and have a reindexed loan-to-value ratio equal to or greater than 100%. Loan-to-value information is updated on a quarterly basis for a majority of our loans and considers economic factors such as the housing price index. At December 31, 2011, we had in repossession stock 461 houses in the U.K., which had a value of approximately $0.1 billion. The ratio of nonearning receivables as a percent of financing receivables remained constant at 9.3% at December 31, 2011.

Consumer − Non-U.S. installment and revolving credit. Nonearning receivables of $0.3 billion represented 2.8% of total nonearning receivables at December 31, 2011. The ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables decreased from 324.2% at December 31, 2010 to 272.6% at December 31, 2011, reflecting the effects of loan repayments and reduced originations primarily in our European platforms.

Consumer − U.S. installment and revolving credit. Nonearning receivables of $1.0 billion represented 10.6% of total nonearning receivables at December 31, 2011. The ratio of allowance for losses as a percent of nonearning receivables increased from 194.3% at December 31, 2010, to 202.8% at December 31, 2011, as a result of lower entry rates and improved collections resulting in reductions in our nonearning receivables balance. The ratio of nonearning receivables as a percentage of financing receivables decreased from 2.7% at December 31, 2010 to 2.1% at December 31, 2011, primarily due to lower delinquencies reflecting an improvement in the overall credit environment.

Nonaccrual Financing Receivables
 
The following table provides details related to our nonaccrual and nonearning financing receivables. Nonaccrual financing receivables include all nonearning receivables and are those on which we have stopped accruing interest. We stop accruing interest at the earlier of the time at which collection becomes doubtful or the account becomes 90 days past due. Substantially all of the differences between nonearning and nonaccrual financing receivables relate to loans which are classified as nonaccrual financing receivables but are paying on a cash accounting basis, and therefore excluded from nonearning receivables. Of our $17.0 billion nonaccrual loans at December 31, 2011, $7.5 billion are currently paying in accordance with their contractual terms.
 

 
Nonaccrual
 
Nonearning
 
financing
 
financing
December 31, 2011 (In millions)
receivables
 
receivables
           
           
Commercial
         
CLL
$
4,512 
 
$
3,309 
Energy Financial Services
 
22 
   
22 
GECAS
 
69 
   
55 
Other
 
115 
   
65 
Total Commercial
 
4,718 
   
3,451 
           
Real Estate
 
6,949 
   
790 
           
Consumer
 
5,316 
   
5,064 
Total
$
16,983 
 
$
9,305 
           


 
(55)

 

Impaired Loans
“Impaired” loans in the table below are defined as larger balance or restructured loans for which it is probable that the lender will be unable to collect all amounts due according to original contractual terms of the loan agreement. The vast majority of our Consumer and a portion of our CLL nonaccrual receivables are excluded from this definition, as they represent smaller balance homogeneous loans that we evaluate collectively by portfolio for impairment.

Impaired loans include nonearning receivables on larger balance or restructured loans, loans that are currently paying interest under the cash basis (but are excluded from the nonearning category), and loans paying currently but which have been previously restructured.

Specific reserves are recorded for individually impaired loans to the extent we have determined that it is probable that we will be unable to collect all amounts due according to original contractual terms of the loan agreement. Certain loans classified as impaired may not require a reserve because we believe that we will ultimately collect the unpaid balance (through collection or collateral repossession).
 
Further information pertaining to loans classified as impaired and specific reserves is included in the table below.
 

 
At
(In millions)
December 31,
 
December 31,
 
2011 
 
2010 
Loans requiring allowance for losses
         
   Commercial(a)
$
2,357 
 
$
2,733 
   Real Estate
 
4,957 
   
6,812 
   Consumer
 
3,036 
   
2,446 
Total loans requiring allowance for losses
 
10,350 
   
11,991 
           
Loans expected to be fully recoverable
         
   Commercial(a)
 
3,305 
   
3,087 
   Real Estate
 
3,790 
   
3,005 
   Consumer
 
69 
   
102 
Total loans expected to be fully recoverable
 
7,164 
   
6,194 
Total impaired loans
$
17,514 
 
$
18,185 
           
Allowance for losses (specific reserves)
         
   Commercial(a)
$
812 
 
$
1,031 
   Real Estate
 
822 
   
1,150 
   Consumer
 
717 
   
555 
Total allowance for losses (specific reserves)
$
2,351 
 
$
2,736 
           
Average investment during the period
$
18,384 
 
$
15,538 
Interest income earned while impaired(b)
 
733 
   
391 
           
 
(a)
Includes CLL, Energy Financial Services, GECAS and Other.
 
(b)
Recognized principally on a cash basis.
 
 
We regularly review our Real Estate loans for impairment using both quantitative and qualitative factors, such as debt service coverage and loan-to-value ratios. We classify Real Estate loans as impaired when the most recent valuation reflects a projected loan-to-value ratio at maturity in excess of 100%, even if the loan is currently paying in accordance with contractual terms.

Of our $8.7 billion impaired loans at Real Estate at December 31, 2011, $7.9 billion are currently paying in accordance with the contractual terms of the loan and are typically loans where the borrower has adequate debt service coverage to meet contractual interest obligations. Impaired loans at CLL primarily represent senior secured lending positions.


 
(56)

 

Our impaired loan balance at December 31, 2011 and 2010, classified by the method used to measure impairment was as follows.

 
At
 
December 31,
 
December 31,
(In millions)
2011 
 
2010 
           
Method used to measure impairment
         
Discounted cash flow
$
8,981 
 
$
7,644 
Collateral value
 
8,533 
   
10,541 
Total
$
17,514 
 
$
18,185 

See Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report for further information on collateral dependent loans and our valuation process.

Our loss mitigation strategy is intended to minimize economic loss and, at times, can result in rate reductions, principal forgiveness, extensions, forbearance or other actions, which may cause the related loan to be classified as a troubled debt restructuring (TDR), and also as impaired. Changes to Real Estate’s loans primarily include maturity extensions, principal payment acceleration, changes to collateral terms and cash sweeps, which are in addition to, or sometimes in lieu of, fees and rate increases. The determination of whether these changes to the terms and conditions of our commercial loans meet the TDR criteria includes our consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances. At December 31, 2011, TDRs included in impaired loans were $13.7 billion, primarily relating to Real Estate ($7.0 billion), CLL ($3.6 billion) and Consumer ($2.9 billion).

Real Estate TDRs increased from $4.9 billion at December 31, 2010 to $7.0 billion at December 31, 2011, primarily driven by loans scheduled to mature during 2011, some of which were modified during 2011 and classified as TDRs upon modification. For borrowers with demonstrated operating capabilities, we work to restructure loans when the cash flow and projected value of the underlying collateral support repayment over the modified term. We deem loan modifications to be TDRs when we have granted a concession to a borrower experiencing financial difficulty and we do not receive adequate compensation in the form of an effective interest rate that is at current market rates of interest given the risk characteristics of the loan or other consideration that compensates us for the value of the concession. For the year ended December 31, 2011, we modified $4.0 billion of loans classified as TDRs, substantially all in our Debt portfolio. Changes to these loans primarily included maturity extensions, principal payment acceleration, changes to collateral or covenant terms and cash sweeps, which are in addition to, or sometimes in lieu of, fees and rate increases. The limited liquidity and higher return requirements in the real estate market for loans with higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratios has typically resulted in the conclusion that the modified terms are not at current market rates of interest, even if the modified loans are expected to be fully recoverable. We received the same or additional compensation in the form of rate increases and fees for the majority of these TDRs. Of our modifications classified as TDRs in the last twelve months, $0.1 billion have subsequently experienced a payment default.

The substantial majority of the Real Estate TDRs have reserves determined based upon collateral value. Our specific reserves on Real Estate TDRs were $0.6 billion at December 31, 2011 and $0.4 billion at December 31, 2010, and were 8.4% and 8.9%, respectively, of Real Estate TDRs. Although we experienced an increase in TDRs over this period, in many situations these loans did not require a specific reserve as collateral value adequately covered our recorded investment in the loan. While these modified loans had adequate collateral coverage, we were still required to complete our TDR classification evaluation on each of the modifications without regard to collateral adequacy.

 
(57)

 

We utilize certain short-term (three months or less) loan modification programs for borrowers experiencing temporary financial difficulties in our Consumer loan portfolio. These loan modification programs are primarily concentrated in our non-U.S. residential mortgage and non-U.S. installment and revolving portfolios. We sold our U.S. residential mortgage business in 2007 and as such, do not participate in the U.S. government-sponsored mortgage modification programs. For the year ended December 31, 2011, we provided short-term modifications of approximately $1.0 billion of consumer loans for borrowers experiencing financial difficulties, substantially all in our non-U.S. residential mortgage, credit card and personal loan portfolios, which are not classified as TDRs. For these modified loans, we provided insignificant interest rate reductions and payment deferrals, which were not part of the terms of the original contract. We expect borrowers whose loans have been modified under these short-term programs to continue to be able to meet their contractual obligations upon the conclusion of the short-term modification. In addition, we have modified $2.0 billion of Consumer loans for the year ended December 31, 2011, which are classified as TDRs. Further information on Consumer impaired loans is provided in Note 23 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

Delinquencies
 
For additional information on delinquency rates at each of our major portfolios, see Note 23 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II. Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

GECS Selected European Exposures
 
At December 31, 2011, we had $92 billion in financing receivables to consumer and commercial customers in Europe. The GECS financing receivables portfolio in Europe is well diversified across European geographies and customers. Approximately 85% of the portfolio is secured by collateral and represents approximately 500,000 commercial customers. Several European countries, including Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Hungary (“focus countries”), have been subject to credit deterioration due to weaknesses in their economic and fiscal situations. The carrying value of GECS funded exposures in these focus countries and in the rest of Europe comprised the following at December 31, 2011.

December 31, 2011
                                   
Rest of
 
Total
(In millions)
Spain
 
Portugal
 
Ireland
 
Italy
 
Greece
 
Hungary
 
Europe
 
Europe
                                               
Financing receivables,
                                             
    net of allowance
                                             
      for loan losses(a)(b)
$
2,316 
 
$
601 
 
$
881 
 
$
7,231 
 
$
88 
 
$
3,060 
 
$
78,208 
 
$
92,385 
                                               
Investments(c)(d)
 
   
– 
   
24 
   
611 
   
36 
   
152 
   
2,650 
   
3,475 
                                               
Derivatives,
                                             
    net of collateral(c)(e)
 
47 
   
– 
   
– 
   
86 
   
– 
   
– 
   
177 
   
310 
                                               
Total funded exposures(f)
 
2,365 
   
601 
   
905 
   
7,928 
   
124 
   
3,212 
   
81,035 
   
96,170 
                                               
Unfunded commitments
 
– 
   
– 
   
– 
   
311 
   
– 
   
557 
   
8,168 
   
9,036 
                                               
                                               

(a)  
Financing receivable amounts are classified based on the location or nature of the related obligor.
 
(b)  
Substantially all relates to non-sovereign obligors. Includes residential mortgage loans of approximately $35.4 billion before consideration of purchased credit protection. We have third-party mortgage insurance for approximately 28% of these residential mortgage loans, substantially all of which were originated in the U.K., Poland and France.
 
(c)  
Investments and derivatives are classified based on the location of the parent of the obligor or issuer.
 
(d)  
Includes $1.1 billion related to financial institutions, $0.5 billion related to non-financial institutions and $1.9 billion related to sovereign issuers. Sovereign issuances totaled $0.1 billion, $0.1 billion and $0.1 billion related to Italy, Hungary and Greece, respectively. We held no investments issued by sovereign entities in the other focus countries.
 
(e)  
Net of cash collateral, entire amount is non-sovereign.
 

 
(58)

 

(f)  
Excludes other GECS funded assets in European countries, which comprise cash and equivalents ($41.6 billion), ELTO ($11.9 billion), real estate held for investment ($7.3 billion), and cost and equity method investments ($2.5 billion). GECS cash and equivalents in European countries include cash on short-term placement with highly rated global financial institutions based in Europe, sovereign central banks and agencies or supra national entities ($24.2 billion) and the remaining $17.4 billion of cash and equivalents is placed with highly rated European financial institutions on a short-term basis and is secured by U.S. Treasury securities ($9.6 billion) and sovereign bonds of non-focus countries ($7.8 billion), where the value of our collateral exceeds the amount of our cash exposure.
 

We manage counterparty exposure, including credit risk, on an individual counterparty basis. We place defined risk limits around each obligor and review our risk exposure on the basis of both the primary and parent obligor, as well as the issuer of securities held as collateral. These limits are adjusted on an ongoing basis based on our continuing assessment of the credit risk of the obligor or issuer. In setting our counterparty risk limits, we focus on high quality credits and diversification through spread of risk in an effort to actively manage our overall exposure. We actively monitor each exposure against these limits and take appropriate action when we believe that risk limits have been exceeded or there are excess risk concentrations. Our collateral position and ability to work out problem accounts has historically mitigated our actual loss experience. Delinquency experience has been improving in our European commercial and consumer platforms in the aggregate, and we actively monitor and take action to reduce exposures where appropriate. Uncertainties surrounding European markets could have an impact on the judgments and estimates used in determining the carrying value of these assets.

Other GECS receivables totaled $13.4 billion at December 31, 2011 and $12.9 billion at December 31, 2010, and consisted primarily of amounts due from GE (primarily related to material procurement programs of $3.5 billion and $2.7 billion at December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, respectively), insurance receivables, nonfinancing customer receivables, amounts due under operating leases, amounts accrued from investment income, tax receivables and various sundry items.

Property, plant and equipment totaled $65.7 billion at December 31, 2011, down $0.5 billion from 2010, primarily reflecting a reduction in equipment leased to others principally as a result of the disposal of our CLL marine container leasing business. GE property, plant and equipment consisted of investments for its own productive use, whereas the largest element for GECS was equipment provided to third parties on operating leases. Details by category of investment are presented in Note 7 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

GE additions to property, plant and equipment totaled $3.0 billion and $2.4 billion in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Total expenditures, excluding equipment leased to others, for the past five years were $13.1 billion, of which 40% was investment for growth through new capacity and product development; 24% was investment in productivity through new equipment and process improvements; and 36% was investment for other purposes such as improvement of research and development facilities and safety and environmental protection.
 
GECS additions to property, plant and equipment were $9.9 billion and $7.7 billion during 2011 and 2010, respectively, primarily reflecting additions of commercial aircraft at GECAS.

Goodwill and other intangible assets totaled $84.7 billion and $74.4 billion, respectively, at December 31, 2011. Goodwill increased $8.2 billion from 2010, primarily from the acquisitions of Converteam, the Well Support division of John Wood Group PLC, Dresser, Inc., Wellstream PLC and Lineage Power Holdings, Inc., partially offset by the stronger U.S. dollar. Other intangible assets increased $2.1 billion from 2010, primarily from acquisitions, partially offset by amortization expense. Goodwill and intangible assets were reduced by $19.6 billion and $2.6 billion in 2010 in connection with our decision to transfer the assets of the NBCU business to a joint venture. See Note 8 to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Form 10-K Report.

 
(59)

 

All other assets comprise mainly real estate equity properties and investments, equity and cost method investments, derivative instruments and assets held for sale, and totaled $111.7 billion at December 31, 2011, an increase of $17.4 billion, primarily related to our investment in NBCU ($18.0 billion), increases in the fair value of derivative instruments ($4.6 billion) and our investment in PTL ($1.2 billion), partially offset by a decrease in real estate equity investments ($3.3 billion) and the sale of a substantial portion of our equity investment in Garanti Bank ($3.0 billion). During 2011, we recognized other-than-temporary impairments of cost and equity method investments, excluding those related to real estate, of $0.1 billion.

Included in other assets are Real Estate equity investments of $23.9 billion and $27.2 billion at December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010, respectively. Our portfolio is diversified, both geographically and by asset type. We review the estimated values of our commercial real estate investments at least annually, or more frequently as conditions warrant. Based on the most recent valuation estimates available, the carrying value of our Real Estate investments exceeded their estimated value by about $2.6 billion. Commercial real estate valuations in 2011 showed signs of improved stability and liquidity in certain markets, primarily in the U.S.; however, the pace of improvement varies significantly by asset class and market.  Accordingly, there continues to be risk and uncertainty surrounding commercial real estate values. Declines in estimated value of real estate below carrying amount result in impairment losses when the aggregate undiscounted cash flow estimates used in the estimated value measurement are below the carrying amount. As such, estimated losses in the portfolio will not necessarily result in recognized impairment losses. During 2011, Real Estate recognized pre-tax impairments of $1.2 billion in its real estate held for investment, which were driven by declining cash flow projections for properties in certain markets, most notably Japan and Spain, as well as properties we have identified for short-term disposition based upon our updated outlook of local market conditions. Real Estate investments with undiscounted cash flows in excess of carrying value of 0% to 5% at December 31, 2011 had a carrying value of $1.6 billion and an associated estimated unrealized loss of approximately $0.2 billion. Continued deterioration in economic conditions or prolonged market illiquidity may result in further impairments being recognized.

Contract costs and estimated earnings reflect revenues earned in excess of billings on our long-term co