NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Shares of General Electric Co. climbed Wednesday after the company reaffirmed its expectations for 2002 earnings and 2003 earnings growth.
Shares of GE (GE: up $2.15 to $32.80, Research, Estimates), the largest company in the world in terms of stock value with $304 billion in market capitalization, jumped more than 7 percent at midday after it said it expects to earn $16.5 billion in 2002 before one-time accounting changes, or between $1.65 and $1.67 per share. Wall Street analysts surveyed by earnings tracker First Call forecast $1.65 a share.
The Fairfield, Conn.-based company, which makes products ranging from light bulbs to aircraft engines, also said it expects "double-digit" earnings growth in 2003. Wall Street analysts expect the company to earn $1.83 per share in 2003, according to First Call, which would be about an 11 percent gain from their 2002 target.
The company issued similar guidance about a month ago when it reported first-quarter earnings that met Wall Street expectations on disappointing revenue.
The company's star, which shone brightly under former CEO Jack Welch, has dimmed considerably in recent months as several observers, including prominent bond fund manager Bill Gross, questioned the quality of its earnings, its credit and its credibility.
| || ||
|| || |
Shareholders generally have been more skeptical in the wake of the messy collapses of Enron Corp., Global Crossing Ltd. and other companies and the accounting scandals associated with them.
In response, GE has made an effort to communicate more with shareholders, including holding its first-ever earnings conference call last month.