The largest U.S. conglomerate said it expects to increase operating earnings per share at a double-digit percentage rate next year, despite what Chief Executive Jeff Immelt described as a "volatile global economy."
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Following are reactions from industry analysts and investors:
JACK DE GAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, HARBOR ADVISORY CORP, PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE:
"Don't pay any attention to the earnings-per-share line. There are so many moving parts there. Much more important is that the revenue number was strong and the organic growth rate in industrial was strong. Those give us a little bit of a look into next quarter and beyond.
"The stock is probably going to respond reasonably well. The next few weeks and months are heavily dependent on what happens in the macro environment. GE was trading at $14 a couple of weeks ago. We could have the same thing happen in the next few weeks if the Europeans don't get their act together. If the news out of Europe is stable, the stock is going to perform well."
PERRY ADAMS, VICE PRESIDENT AND SENIOR PORTFOLIO MANAGER, HUNTINGTON PRIVATE FINANCIAL GROUP, TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN:
"Good, in-line quarter. Revenues came in a little higher. I like focusing on orders, and the backlog and orders came in 16 percent higher and the backlog was a record.
"Possible concerns going forward are going to be related to Europe and what impact that may have, not just there but on global growth in general. There's elevated uncertainty, there is lower consumer confidence, lower business confidence, and that likely should have some impact on global growth, particularly for GE, that may impact industrial margins."
OLIVER PURSCHE, PRESIDENT, GARY GOLDBERG FINANCIAL SERVICES, SUFFERN, NEW YORK:
"Generally speaking, on the surface it looks like pleasing results. Nothing that is absolutely terrific. The outlook for double-digit earnings growth in 2012 is certainly a positive."
(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston, Nick Zieminski and Edward Krudy in New York)