GE Anticipates Double-Digit Earnings Growth In 2001, 2002

Compiled By John S. McClenahen Even with an estimated $600 million in pre-tax losses by its Employers Reinsurance Corp. unit, Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co. expects to post earnings-per-share (EPS) growth of 11% this year. The company is targeting $1.41 EPS for 2001, compared with $1.27 in the year 2000. That should increase the standing of Jeffrey R. Immelt, GE's new chairman and CEO, with Wall Street analysts. Immelt succeeded the legendary John F. (Jack) Welch Jr. on Sept. 7 as head of the $130 billion technology, manufacturing, and services conglomerate. Immelt's real test could come in 2002, however. Although GE now expects its power systems, medical systems, and capital services units all to grow by more than 20% next year, a weak U.S. economy and weak foreign demand for products and services could make double-digit EPS growth tougher to achieve in 2002.

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