America's biggest industrial company is feeling the pain from the slowdown in U.S. and European manufacturing. Early this year, that sluggish growth hurt the company's power and water unit, as struggling U.S. and European manufacturers purchased fewer GE generators. Given that trend, GE must figure out how to squeeze more profits out of other sections of its business such as aviation, and its financing arm GE Capital. It is also increasing investments in manufacturing tied to the oil and gas industry. This year, it paid almost $3 billion for oilfield pump maker Lufkin Industries.
Some of America's largest corporations are also great workplaces