NEW YORK – GE also reiterated its first-quarter earnings guidance, saying profits would be in line with Wall Street targets.
``We have tremendous financial strength and a system of controllership that is second to none,'' GE Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said in a statement. ``GE isn't a 'faith' stock -- it's a performance stock. And we're on track for another record performance.''
GE's assertion of the integrity of its financial ``controllership'' comes a day after its shares fell more than 5 percent, closing down $1.85 at $35 as analysts and traders cited concerns about GE's biggest unit, GE Capital.
``I think as people take a closer look at GE, or as more time passes, these concerns will be alleviated,'' said Todd Hinrichs, analyst at ABN Amro.
``They've done a pretty good job of educating the analysts but then again it's a big company in the end, and in some ways, one just has to assess how trustworthy companies are,'' Hinrichs said. "It's my personal opinion that GE is very trustworthy.
The stock, a component of the Dow Jones industrial average, rose 75 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $35.75 in Tuesday morning trade.
DISCLOSURE AND VISIBILITY
The U.S. stock market has suffered under a crisis of confidence focused on the quality of the financial statements of some of the largest U.S. companies. The questions have come in the aftermath of the collapse of energy trader Enron Corp. in an accounting scandal and amid financial disclosure questions at Tyco International Inc., which is also a diverse and complex conglomerate.
GE said it provides the investment community with more financial information than required under accounting standards on the corporation and on GE Capital, its massive financial services arm.
Further, GE said it would consider other ways to help investors and analysts grasp information Da??? GE plans to begin providing more detail on segments within GE Capital in its quarterly earnings press release.
``If there are things we can do to let people get at the information or help get a grasp on it, we'll definitely take a look at it,'' said David Frail, a company spokesman.
Looking???ncial services, said overall revenues should grow by 3 percent to 5 percent, while its industrial businesses should generate double-digit growth.
GE said first-quarter earnings would be in line with analysts' consensus view of 35 cents per share, as tracked by research firm Thomson Financial/First Call. Full-year earnings from continuing operations should grow by 17 percent to 18 percent, the company said.