Prior Fiscal: $19.8 Billion
Percentage Change: +1%
No. of Employees: 56,000 (205,000 total)
Global Headquarters: Chicago, Ill.
H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., Chairman and CEO, GE
Carolina Dybeck Happe, SVP and CFO, GE
Kieran P. Murphy, Sr. VP, GE; President and CEO, GE Healthcare
Monish Patolawala, CFO, GE Healthcare
Jan Makela, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Imaging
Anders Wold, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Clinical Care Solutions
Kevin O’Neill, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics
Luiz Verzegnassi, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Services
Everett Cunningham, President and CEO, GE Healthcare U.S. and Canada
Catherine Estrampes, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Europe
Yihao Zhang, President and CEO, GE Healthcare China
Rob Walton, President and CEO, ASEAN, Korea, and ANZ
Elie Chaillot, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Eastern Growth Markets
Soichiro Tada, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Japan
Rafael Palombini, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Latin America
Nalinikanth (Nal) Gollagunta, President and CEO, GE Healthcare India and South Asia
Farid Fezoua, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Africa
James W. Borzi, VP and Chief Supply Chain Officer, GE Healthcare
Thomas Westrick, VP and Chief Quality Officer, GE Healthcare
GE is a company in transition, perhaps more so than any other in the 2020 top company list. The firm had been a Wall Street “blue chip” for decades, reflective of what a dependable company is—a safe investment. Contrast that against a more recent time as the firm has fought to remain out of “junk bond status” for those same investors. While many pointed to former CEO Jeff Immelt as the most responsible party for the firm’s fall, blame is hardly a concern for the current leadership. Instead, they are working on resolving the company’s bevy of financial concerns.
“Deleveraging” seemed to be the theme for the mothership in 2019 as the company made several moves to directly address the substantial debt it had accumulated. GE was able to reduce debt for both the Industrial and Capital segments by $7 billion net each. Further, the organization completed a spin-off and subsequent merger of its Transportation unit with Wabtec, gaining approximately $6 billion in total proceeds as a result of its exited stake. GE was also responsible for the market’s largest secondary offering in 2019 when it shed its control over Baker Hughes, for which it netted almost $3 billion. Among other accomplishments GE completed in 2019 was a $5 billion debt tender, changes to pension benefit in the Industrial business expected to reduce debt by $5 to $6 billion, sale of GECAS’ PK AirFinance aviation lending platform, and a $27 billion asset reduction in GE Capital.
The Healthcare unit wasn’t immune from the firm’s selling spree strategy. The entire business had been the subject of selling rumors and was predicted to be spun out from GE to form a standalone, medically focused entity. Instead, the Healthcare segment saw its BioPharma business jettisoned—a deal announced in February 2019. Danaher was the buying partner in the deal, which was valued at approximately $21 billion.
“Today’s transaction is a pivotal milestone. It demonstrates that we are executing on our strategy by taking thoughtful and deliberate action to reduce leverage and strengthen our balance sheet,” explained H. Lawrence Culp Jr., GE’s chairman and CEO at the time of the deal’s announcement. “We are retaining full flexibility for growth and strategic optionality with one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, and we are pleased that our BioPharma colleagues will join a strong, established team at Danaher. A more focused portfolio is the right structure for GE, and we have many options for maximizing shareholder value along the way.”
The move was reflective of the company’s goals in 2019, which were outlined by Culp in his Letter to Shareholders in the company’s latest annual report. In it, he explained there were two strategic priorities for the year: improve the firm’s financial position and strengthen its businesses. How exactly shedding a part of the GE Healthcare Life Sciences unit that, in 2018, generated revenues of almost $3 billion can be seen as strengthening the business was not specifically explained. It does, however, seem to enable the remaining GE Healthcare unit to focus more exclusively on the majority of its business in imaging, monitoring, and diagnostics. Further, the related unit of Pharmaceutical Diagnostics, which was also a part of the Life Sciences segment, was retained by the Healthcare segment.
The move ultimately put to rest any further whispers of GE divesting the Healthcare business. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, Edward Jones analyst Jeff Windau said, “With the execution of this deal, it appears that the IPO of GE’s healthcare business, at least in the near term, will not be pursued.”
ANALYST INSIGHTS: Helpful for GE Healthcare was the divestiture of the GE Life Sciences business to Danaher. This means that 1) GE Healthcare is a primary profit driver within the greater GE business; and 2) the cash received from the GE Life Sciences sale should allow for the ability for focused investments (internally and externally).
—Dave Sheppard, Co-Founder and Managing Director, MedWorld Advisors
That’s likely good news for shareholders of the organization as the unit had been one of the stronger performers for the company in recent years, showing modest, but consistent, gains year over year. Between 2017 and 2019, revenue increased by a billion dollars; combined with Aviation and Renewable Energy, the trio of businesses helped alleviate the substantial impact from the losses experienced by the Power unit, which reported over $10 billion in lost annual revenue over the same time period.
Specifically, in 2019, Healthcare pulled in $19.9 billion in total segment revenues. While the growth over 2018’s $19.8 billion was not substantial, the consistency of the unit is likely a welcome contrast to the financial hardships the firm has faced in recent years. Revenue from the U.S. has remained relatively flat since 2017, generating $8.4 billion in ’17, $8.6 billion in ’18, and $8.5 billion in ’19. Non-U.S. regions, however, mark the opportunity for growth with Asia being the most active source for it. The region recorded $5.4 billion in revenue in 2019 versus $5.2 in 2018, which was up from $4.9 billion the year prior. Europe tacked on another $4.1 billion, which was down slightly from $4.2 billion in 2018. The Americas, however, made up for that loss with its growth from $1 billion in 2018 to $1.1 billion in ’19. Finally, the Middle East and Africa remained flat as it accounted for $0.8 billion during both fiscals.
By segment, the BioPharma-less Life Sciences posted a gain over 2018 by about $400 million, seeing revenue in 2019 blossom to $5.3 billion. With a portion of the division sold off to Danaher, the remainder is comprised of Bioprocess and Pharmaceutical diagnostics, both viewed as growth areas by GE.
Complementing Life Sciences is the much larger Healthcare Systems division, which saw a decrease in 2019 ($14.6 billion) compared to 2018’s $14.9 billion. Still, it was just ahead of 2017’s $14.5 billion. While GE expects this segment to enjoy growth long-term, it did face challenges caused by market-specific political and economic cycles. This unit also welcomed the Healthcare Equipment Finance (HEF) business from GE’s Capital segment. The move was effective as of Jan. 1, 2019, and its revenue contributions were reported within the unit.
Looking to future revenue growth opportunities, GE Healthcare demonstrated its commitment to artificial intelligence (AI) as a driver for both enhanced patient, as well as, corporate health. It made several announcements of new launches and capabilities around its Edison System during 2019, which the firm launched late in the prior year.
The Edison System, named after one of GE’s co-founders, was developed to aid hospitals in developing algorithms and managing data for imaging and precision medicine. “Edison provides clinicians with an integrated digital platform, combining diverse data sets from across modalities, vendors, healthcare networks, and life sciences settings,” explained Kieran Murphy, GE Healthcare’s CEO at the time of the announcement. “Applications built on Edison will include the latest data processing technologies to enable clinicians to make faster, more informed decisions to improve patient outcomes.”
In 2019, GE announced a number of expansion efforts to increase the capabilities of AI systems leveraging the Edison platform. One such launch was the Edison Developer Program, which was designed to accelerate the adoption and impact of intelligent applications and developer services across health systems. Its intent was to expand the existing Edison ecosystem of leading researchers, technology providers, and academic institutions who develop, manage, secure, and distribute advanced applications, services, and AI algorithms.
“We introduced Edison just one year ago at RSNA to help health providers take advantage of data in new and significant ways,” said Murphy. “With the introduction of the Edison Developer Program, and a suite of new intelligent applications and smart devices powered by Edison, we are building on that promise as we continue to work with partners to realize our collective goal of advancing the future of health.”
Just weeks earlier, the organization announced it was releasing the Edison Datalogue, which was an enterprise data management solution for the AI system that connected data systems, devices, applications, and clinicians to provide a more holistic view of data. With patient data often spread across multiple systems, departments, and even facilities, combining that data is virtually impossible without such a solution to do it automatically. According to GE, research indicates a solution like Edison Datalogue can help increase clinical productivity by up to 30 percent, saving up to $1 million annually through consolidation and up to $50,000 per year in collaboration costs.
The organization also announced it was bringing the Edison system to China. It signed a Memorandum of Understanding with five local software development companies, marking the start of a strategic partnership and the successful introduction of the AI solution to the Asian country.
Further expanding its impact, GE partnered with the American College of Radiology (ACR) AI-LAB, allowing ACR members and other radiology professionals access to develop and deploy algorithms across hospitals and research centers nationally. The firm also teamed with Fujitsu Australia, Macquarie University, and Macquarie Medical Imaging on a research collaboration to diagnose and monitor brain aneurysms on scans faster and more efficiently using AI. Working with UC San Francisco, the company gained FDA clearance of a device with AI algorithms embedded within it to help radiologists review a suspected pneumothorax (i.e., a type of collapsed lung).
Of particular note was the company’s presence at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, where it leveraged the event to announce the launch of more than 30 new imaging intelligent applications and smart devices. Among the new offerings:
AIR Recon DL is an Edison application providing True Fidelity images. It is a deep-learning MRI reconstruction technology application designed to improve signal-to-noise and image sharpness and enable shorter scan times.
The Edison Open AI Orchestrator, another announced product, was designed to orchestrate AI at scale for imaging workflows. It simplifies the implementation, deployment, support, and scaling of multiple AI applications including from partners iCAD and MaxQ.
Revolution Maxima with AI-Based Auto Positioning is a powerful, high performing, and reliable CT that maximizes every step of the CT workflow, from referral to report. Enabled with AI-based Auto Positioning technology, Revolution Maxima uses real-time depth sensing technology in order to generate a 3D model of a patient’s body to pinpoint the center of the scan range and automatically align it to the isocenter of the bore.
OEC Touch for OEC Elite CFD features a new control panel located right on the C-arm. During a variety of clinical procedures, C-arm technicians often move back-and-forth between the C-arm. While these movements are necessary, they can disrupt surgical flow and cause inefficiencies and block the surgeon’s view of the images during procedures. The new control panel is designed to eliminate the need to move to a separate workstation and reduce disruption during surgery.
Embo ASSIST with Virtual Injection is an Edison application designed to help clinicians perform complex embolization procedures. This application is designed to allow clinicians to analyze the vasculature and simulate injections dynamically to help determine the embolization strategy to avoid embolizing healthy tissues in the brain or prostate with just one click.
While a major focus for GE in 2019 was centered around its AI innovations and technologies, they demonstrated an interest in other “next-generation” healthcare segments as well. In December, a partnership was announced with Advanced Solutions Life Sciences (ASLS) to explore opportunities involving the regeneration of tissue. Specifically, the two organizations entered into a strategic R&D and distribution partnership that sets out to personalize tissue regeneration.
Bioprinted tissues are small in size and die quickly, due to an inability to engineer small blood vessels—the body’s supply network. ASLS’ patented Angiomics technology enables bioprinted microvessels to self-assemble into functional capillary beds, which deliver nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to the 3D tissue model and remove waste. This partnership would allow life scientists and tissue engineers to quickly design, build, and image living, vascularized 3D tissues in a single, agile process.
GE further demonstrated its commitment to advancing technologies for the future with the announcement of the opening of an open-access lab at Alderley Park’s Mereside Campus, the U.K.’s largest single-site life sciences campus. The facility was developed to help small and medium-sized enterprises accelerate their science through access to advanced technologies, services, and training from GE Healthcare Life Sciences.
In another collaboration, GE announced it was working with Premier to develop a model for a one-stop breast cancer diagnostic center that would give women in the United States same-day results. The idea for the facility comes from the One-Stop Clinic at the Gustave Roussy Institute in France, which was founded in 2004 and offers a coordinated patient journey from the initial appointment through diagnosis and treatment plan in one place. With a multimodality approach that includes the GE Healthcare Senographe Pristina mammography system, SenoBright Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM), and biopsy, the program has proven to be successful, earning an 80 percent patient satisfaction rating.
In December, GE provided information on three more joint efforts with companies on leading technology ventures. It is collaborating with Formlabs, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of advanced, affordable 3D printers to help clinicians easily and quickly print anatomical models at the point of care when coupled with GE Healthcare’s Advantage Workstation to prepare 3D CT or MRI data. In the robotic surgery space, GE was an investor in CMR Surgical—a U.K.-based developer of a surgical robotic system called Versius. The company also invested in Decisio Health, a Houston, Texas-based software company that specializes in clinical surveillance, to expand into the virtual care space and revolutionize patient monitoring.
Q1 2020 Revenue: $4.73 Billion
Q1 2019 Revenue: $4.68 Billion
Percentage Change: +1%
One of the bigger stories of the COVID-19 battle has been the efforts by companies outside of the medical device sector hearing the call for greater manufacturing power and responding. One such tale involved GE and automaker Ford. In April, the organizations signed a $336 million contract with the federal government under the Defense Production Act to produce 50,000 ventilators. The deal marked the second ventilator agreement GE had made with the federal government, having settled earlier in the week on a $64.1 million price for 2,410 units.
In first quarter filings, GE reported total revenue at $20.5 billion, which marked an 8 percent decrease compared to 2019. The firm’s three non-healthcare segments all suffered declines in year over year revenue. Healthcare, however, posted a 7 percent increase in orders over first quarter 2019 with profit growing by over $100 million. The company attributed the gains to “surge demand for products used in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.”
According to a CNBC article, the company indicated it was anticipating even greater losses in the second quarter. GE CEO Larry Culp stated they were reviewing potential areas for cutting costs of more than $2 billion and also expected to couple that with cash preservation efforts to retain approximately $3 billion to ease the blow from the virus.