said Tuesday it would deliver double-digit growth in 2001 "in any foreseeable economic scenario" and is comfortable with Wall Street's estimates for the first quarter.
In a meeting with analysts today, Jeffrey Immelt, the company's president and chairman-elect, said he is comfortable with the Street's earning estimates. The 10-analyst consensus earnings estimate is 30 cents a share for the first quarter, according to
First Call/Thomson Financial
. The company earned 26 cents in the year-ago period. Wall Street is expecting $1.49 for the year.
"The strength of our long-cycle businesses, with more than a $44 billion backlog, and the impact of GE's continuing emphasis on globalization, growth in services, six sigma quality and digitization will allow GE to deliver double-digit earnings growth in 2001,'' Immelt said in a statement.
The main focus of the meeting with the analysts was to review the company's efforts to digitize. The company said savings from the initiative should be $1.6 billion, before taxes, with sales over the Internet growing to more than $15 billion in the year.
Immelt also said the synergies in combining GE and
should exceed $3 billion, more then double GE's original estimate.
Shares of GE gained $1.40, or 3.5%, to $41 in early
New York Stock Exchange