GE earnings report good for local workforce

Posted at: 01/18/2013 5:58 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

SCHENECTADY - Financial Advisor Hugh Johnson said he's encouraged by General Electric's new earnings report, released Friday.

"For the first time in a long time, I'm a little bit encouraged about what's going on at General Electric," he said.

The company's net income up eight-percent in the fourth quarter. All industrial segments, including those based in Schenectady, showed improvement due to growth in emerging markets.

"I like the report. I like what it means for Schenectady and I particularly like what it means for GE shareholders, and I'm one of them and all of our clients are one of them," Johnson said.  

Shares of G.E. have rebounded since the financial crisis, with a low of $6.66 in March of 2009  to over $22-dollars now, a 230-percent rise.

One reason, according to CEO Jeffrey Immelt in the report, has been the investment in new products, that includes new turbine technology called Flex Efficiency60 developed in Schenectady's Power and Water division. Launched last Fall, there are orders worth $1.5-billion-dollars. Helping Power and Water realize a five-percent jump in profits over last year.

"This is large scale industrial heavy duty equipment and it's great to have this manufacturing  base  in Schenectady," said Jim Donohue, Senior Marketing Manager, Thermal Products, GE Power & Water. "We have a great workforce here in Schenectady. Great cooperation from the unions and that really contributes to our overall success."

Success, that has brought President Obama to the Capital Region to tour GE in 2011.

In Friday's report, Immelt forecasts double digit earnings growth in 2013. Donohue said it's reason of optimism for Capital Region Employees on the job.

"I think anyone who works here in Schenectady ought to feel good about the earnings report today," he said.

Johnson said he's most impressed with General Electric's profit margins. More evidence, he said, of a manufacturing resurgence across the nation.