General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

said its industrial businesses had double-digit profit growth and its financial-services unit held up in the second quarter, leading to overall earnings that matched Wall Street's expectations.

Second-quarter earnings from continuing operations totaled $5.4 billion, down 4% from a year earlier, the Fairfield, Conn., industrial conglomerate said. On a per-share basis, GE earned 54 cents, unchanged from a year earlier. Revenue from continuing operations rose 11% to $46.9 billion.

"Many markets and industries remain healthy, while the U.S. economy is challenged," CEO Jeff Immelt said in a prepared statement Friday. "Opportunities in emerging markets, infrastructure, commodities and global health care are creating demand for our businesses, while we fight through the difficulties of a burdened U.S. consumer, a tough housing market, inflation and volatile capital markets. Even with all this uncertainty, we still see growth opportunities ahead."

Total orders during the quarter were up 8% to $26.9 billion. Major equipment orders grew 4% to $13.7 billion, while the backlog was at $55 billion, an increase of 25%. Services orders were up 19%.

GE also affirmed its forecast for the full year, saying it should earn $2.20 to $2.30 a share from continuing operations.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for a profit of 54 cents in the second quarter on revenue of $45.3 billion. The consensus estimate for the full year is $2.22.

This article was written by a staff member of