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GE has entered onto AMSC turf:

General Electric Co (GE.N) reached a $3.2 billion cash deal to acquire a French maker of high-efficiency motors used in the oil and gas sector, pouring more money into its most profitable division.

The largest U.S. conglomerate said its acquisition of Converteam, which also makes equipment to connect renewable power sources such as wind turbines to the electric grid and which reported 2010 revenue of $1.5 billion, would boost its offering of equipment used across the energy industry.

For fun I decided to see what kind of income taxes AMSC paid over the last three years. It was a surprise to see it had paid in all three years, even when it had operating losses. Over three years, AMSC had operating income of $5.6 million yet had income tax expense of $32.1 million.

GE has income tax expense in two of the three years. When it had operating income of $11.1 billion in 2009, GE had an income tax expense credit of $1.2 billion! Over those three years GE had operating income of $115.2 billion yet showa income tax expense of $1.2 billion.

It must be a lot easier to make big purchases when the tax man isn't dipping deep into your pocket...

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