The market's on pace for a strong end to the week, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has hit the gas since the opening bell sounded today. As of 2:15 p.m. EDT, the Dow has gained around 120 points, with all but a few member stocks in the green. General Electric (NYSE:GE) has slumped despite the Dow's climb, as GE's strong earnings report failed to satisfy Wall Street and sent the conglomerate's stock down by 1%. But despite the downturn, GE's earnings and future plans are on track to delight investors in the long term. Let's catch up on what you need to know.
Why investors should love GE's earnings
General Electric might be down on the day, but that doesn't mean the company put up a disappointing second quarter. Quite the contrary: GE's net profit jumped by more than 13% year over year in Q2, and the company's revenue climbed by 3% -- although that latter figure slightly missed average analyst projections. Nonetheless, long-term investors should be pleased with the conglomerate's trajectory, as GE posted a 6% uptick in orders from international growth markets in a great Q2 overall.
GE's quarter also showed a move in progress by this company to focus on businesses that are performing the best. GE Capital, the company's financing arm, saw revenue fall by 6%, in part because the conglomerate has pivoted toward its core businesses, which performed far better in the quarter. The company's stellar aviation unit continues to soar as the commercial aerospace market booms, with the division's sales jumping by 15% year over year.
Aviation has emerged as one of GE's largest segments by revenue, and with aerospace on course to continue surging in the near future as China and other global markets ramp up demand, and as traffic improves in developed countries, GE is poised to keep this growth story going.
The company also set the stage for a major spinoff later this month. GE's consumer finance unit is slated to go public as Synchrony Financial in late July, and its parent company aims to generate more than $3 billion from the IPO. GE CEO Jeff Immelt announced that the conglomerate is also on track to divest more noncore businesses throughout the year, with the firm already gunning to sell off its appliance unit.
For GE investors, this slim-down approach looks like the right move. Industrial and energy segments have been the company's best performers lately -- the firm's oil and gas division posted a whopping 20% sales gain in the second quarter -- and focusing around these businesses should promote ongoing growth into the future. That should only help a stock that has stumbled so far in 2014, dropping more than 3% year to date.