General Electric (NYSE: GE) is down 2.7% in pre-market trading this morning after its fourth-quarter earnings declined 18% from the previous year. Lower revenues and weaker demand in Europe were the main culprits behind the earnings miss.
GE’s revenues of $38 billion were down 8% from the $41.8 billion the company earned during the fourth quarter of 2010. Most analysts had expected GE’s revenues to be around $40 billion.
Though no specific numbers were available during this morning’s earnings announcement, the company said that quarterly sales in Europe – mired in a spreading sovereign debt crisis – were weak.
“I don’t think Europe was worse than we expected,” said CEO Jeff Immelt. “We were prepared for a tough environment.”
The company expects another volatile year ahead, but Immelt said he still anticipates double-digit earnings growth in 2012 in its industrial and financial businesses.
“I like our momentum,” he said. “I’m confident in our earnings power.”
GE’s big-energy infrastructure unit reported flat profits for the quarter.
The stock is currently trading at $18.69 a share.