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GE expects big earnings growth

| December 15, 2010 8:00 PM

NEW YORK (AP) - General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said Tuesday he expects the company to deliver "substantially" higher profits in 2011, driven by growth in its industrial division and in China.

Revenue in GE's industrial division, which makes everything from windmill turbines to ventilation fans, is expected to grow after being flat in 2010, Immelt said.

The company also expects double-digit revenue growth out of China, where the company is forming more local partnerships to capitalize on that country's rapidly growing economy, he said.

GE does not provide specific earnings targets, but Immelt said the diversified company will post strong gains in net income tabulated using generally accepted accounting principles. Overall revenue will be flat to up 5 percent, he said.

Analysts expect the company to earn $1.27 per share on $145.4 billion in revenue next year. Earnings this year are expected at $1.12 a share on $150.1 billion in revenue.

"GAAP earnings will also be up substantially next year," he said.

In a positive note for the global economy, Immelt said he expects GE's improved performance to come as economic growth gains steam.

"As we look into 2012, the headwinds go away," Immelt said. "And we just see this story improving."

Immelt said GE would not provide specific dividend targets, but that the dividends would increase in line with earnings growth.

Shares in GE, which is based in Fairfield, Conn., rose 7 cents to close at $17.69

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