GE Releases Optimistic Guidance for 2011


General Electric's (GE) expanding industrial business will likely help the company boost revenue for fiscal 2011, CEO Jeff Immelt said in a presentation to investors Tuesday.

The company expects its Industrial revenue to increase as much as 6% next year as the company gains market share, according to the presentation. GE plans to boost 2011 earnings in its capital, healthcare, transportation and NBC Universal divisions, while maintaining flat profit from its energy, infrastructure and aviation unit. GE also plans to grow its market share of renewable technologies, such as offshore wind and solar operations, over the next five years.

The latest company outlook is more optimistic than that of analysts covering the company. Analysts are forecasting GE sales to fall about 3% in fiscal 2011 to $145.4 billion, according to the average estimate in a Thomson Reuters poll. "We have even more tailwinds than headwinds as we approach 2012," Immelt said in the presentation.

Additionally, GE said it will buy back shares from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), according to Bloomberg News. Berkshire has purchased about $3 billion of GE preferred stock.

GE, which reports fourth-quarter earnings next month, in October posted fiscal third-quarter earnings that jumped 29% from the year-ago quarter. A surge in earnings from the company's GE Capital unit more than offset a 5% drop in overall revenue.

On Tuesday, GE shares were little-changed by the presentation, closing up 0.4% at $17.69 per share.

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