GE may have found the next big thing, analyst Nicholas Heymann said Friday, after the company's latest earnings report beat expectations.
"That's GE's software data analytics, which could become as important early next decade as GE Capital was over the last couple of decades," the William Blair analyst told "Squawk Box."
Last April, General Electric shares spiked after the company announced plans to sell its financial subsidiary, GE Capital.
"Predictive analytics for them is now moving way beyond their $1 trillion installed base of industrial products. In fact, they are able to ... use their predicting software to predict what's going on all around the world with virtually all industrial equipment," Heymann said.
He spoke after General Electric delivered a quarterly earnings report that beat expectations, as stronger performance in its power division offset weak oil segment results. The company also raised its 2015 outlook for its industrial manufacturing businesses.
GE posted a second-quarter net loss of $1.36 billion, or 13 cents per share. Results were weighed down by charges related to GE's massive pullback from its financial services businesses announced in April.
Excluding items, the multinational conglomerate posted second-quarter earnings of 31 cents per share, down from 39 cents a share in the year-earlier period.
Revenue fell to $29.663 billion from $36.23 billion a year ago.
Analysts polled by Reuters expected the company to post profits excluding items of 28 cents per share on revenue of $28.7 billion.
Shares of GE were flat in early trading. (Get the latest quote here.)
"I think this report shows us they are outperforming other industrials in this environment. Organic revenue growth at 5 percent is at the top of their goals, which were set earlier in the year," Jack De Gan, CIO at Harbor Advisory, said on "Squawk Box."
"Many of the other industrials' organic revenue [growth] is closer to zero."
The company is in the middle of a legal battle with European regulators over its proposed $14 billion purchase of Alstom's power unit. Regulators have raised concerns that the deal would hurt competition in the region.
In fact, GE said Thursday it has offered concessions in an attempt to counter EU regulatory concerns.
"GE confirms it has submitted remedies to the European Commission in relation to the GE-Alstom transaction. These remedies address the concerns of the Commission and at the same time preserve the economic and strategic value of the deal," the company said in a statement.
—Reuters contributed to this report.
Correction: This version corrected GE's revenues to $29.663 billion and updated to confirm that 31 cents a share was the comparable number to analysts' forecasts for earnings.