Overseas Sales Fuel GE's 2Q Earnings Beat

Powered by overseas growth, blue-chip conglomerate General Electric (NYSE:GE) revealed a stronger-than-expected 21% rise in second-quarter profits on Friday.

Fairfield, Conn.-based GE said it earned $3.76 billion, or 35 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $3.11 billion, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 34 cents a share, compared with consensus calls for 32 cents.

Revenue slid 3.5% to $35.63 billion, surpassing the Streets view of $34.7 billion. Excluding the impact of NBC Universal, which it sold majority control of to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), revenue was up 7%.

After struggling throughout the deep recession and financial crisis, GE has now posted five-straight quarters of double-digit earnings growth.

In another positive sign, GE reported a 24% rise in infrastructure orders, including a 33% leap in equipment orders and a 16% rise for services.

We continue to execute in a volatile environment, CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement. We are very encouraged by second-quarter orders and earnings momentum across the company. We are optimistic about our growth prospects in the second half and beyond.

GEs results were driven by overseas growth as its international revenue from industrial operations soared 23% to $13.4 billion, representing 59% of the companys total industrial revenue. A number of regions posted double-digit growth, including India, China, Southeast Asia, Africa and Russia.

GE Capital, a serious trouble spot during the crisis, continued its turnaround amid growing consumer and commercial lending. Total revenue at the financial arm slipped 1% to $11.63 billion.

GE also announced plans to retire the preferred stock that was issued to Berkshire Hathaway in October 2011.

Shares of GE traded higher in the wake of the results, rising 1.62% to $19.47 ahead of Friday's open.