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GE Fallout: It Coulda Been Worse

Well, it could have been a lot worse -- while certain financials and industrials are weak, the damage could have been a lot worse from General Electric's miss. Note that United Technologies' CEO George David tells Reuters he is "quite comfortable" with their full year profit target.

Imagine being Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, our parent company. The shortfall in GE's earnings came mostly from the financial side. He has spent five years trying to reduce the risk in GE Capital.
Immelt has:

-Exited insurance
-Existed reinsurance
-Exited bond insurance
-Exited parts of consumer finance

His concentration has been on commercial finance and debt lending. Fair enough. So what happens? They get caught in the credit crunch -- much of the shortfall was because they were unable to sell certain real estate assets. They cannot seem to win here.

Still, look at the revenue story, which clearly shows growth outside the U.S.
GE Revenue:

-U.S. down 5 percent
-Developed world (ex-U.S.) up 14 percent
-Emerging markets up 38 percent

Finally, Immelt seems to feel the Fed is doing all it can. He told CNBC's Joe Kernen, "There's not a whole lot more I think the Fed can do. This has to work its way through the system."

Note: CNBC is a unit of NBC Universal, owned by General Electric.


Questions? Comments? tradertalk@cnbc.com

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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