Emerging Markets Save General Electric

General Electric (NYSE:GE) reported good numbers for the latest quarter, helped by good revenues seen in foreign markets such as China (NYSE:FXI), Brazil (NYSE:EWZ), and Russia. Industrial equipment (NYSE:XLI) orders grew 16% and international sales by 25 percent. GE’s (NYSE:GE) strategy to drive growth in emerging markets (NYSE:EEM) to counter weak markets in the U.S. and Europe is obviously paying off.

“We continue to successfully navigate a volatile global economy,” Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said in a statement.

However, analysts have raised concerns about weakening margins and the underlying benefit of a low tax rate helping the overall result. “Margins missed our forecast and were down year on year in the four big industrial businesses,” said Jeffrey Sprague, managing partner at Vertical Research Partners. “There is little or no operating leverage in GE’s (NYSE:GE) portfolio due to low priced equipment in backlog and R&D headwinds.”

On the other hand, GE (NYSE:GE) has provided strong guidance for next year saying it expects earnings growth to be in double digits. It has also bought back Buffett’s preferred shares, taking an 8 cent charge.

GE’s (NYSE:GE) earnings results were roughly in line with analysts’ expectations. Profit came in at 31 cents per share (not counting once off items) and revenues were flat at $35.37 billion. The energy infrastructure division was a drag, with pricing pressure severely impacting margins. Though the division’s revenues were up 30 per cent, earnings in fact dropped 9 percent.

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