Oct. 17 - Orders for jet engines and oil equipment powered the conglomerate’s sales, and investors cheered its growing order backlog. Fred Katayama reports.
Orders for jet engines and oil equipment powered General Electric's rising industrial sales and profits. And those orders in the third quarter came from practically every region of the world, ranging from power equipment for Algeria's Sonelgaz to engines for Malaysia's Air Asia. That's a positive sign for the economy because the conglomerate is considered a bellwether. GE CEO Jeff Immelt sounded upbeat, saying, "Our third-quarter results were very strong in an improving global business environment.... (We) are particularly well positioned for 2014. Our overall framework for the year is unchanged." GE's backlog for industrial orders grew 13 percent over last year to a record. Strength in its aviation and energy business offset a decline in power and water revenues. Investors cheered the growth of that backlog and its rising profit margins. GE's stock shot up at the market open, adding to its 18 percent gain this year. Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management, which owns GE shares, said, "It was a very good quarter. It's slow but steady progress at GE, and that's a good thing." Investors looked past the decline in GE's overall earnings and revenue, which was expected because the conglomerate is shrinking its finance unit to focus on the more profitable industrial businesses.