GE profits rose 15% in the fourth quarter as overseas demand for jet engines and power turbines more than offset the weakness in the US economy, the company reported today. “They've really been a beneficiary of the whole global growth story,” an analyst told Bloomberg. GE stock was up 3.4% at midday; earlier, it rose 5.3%, its biggest gain in almost 5 years, erasing yesterday's 3.9% drop.
CEO Jeffrey Immelt reiterated his $2.42-per-share 2008 profit forecast, telling investors not to sweat a US slowdown. “Every place we went there's a need for power, there's a need for planes,” he said. “There's just no sign this global infrastructure boom is slowing at all.” Profits at NBC Universal climbed 10% despite the writers strike as cable and film properties took up the slack.