Many small and large cap companies have initiatives and capital investments in the wind energy industry. All are investing in a sector that has noteworthy ideals and strategic plans for success. The wind energy industry is still feeling its way through an environment getting more and more crowded with alternative energy enterprises.
General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) has, among their other divisions, their Power & Water operations. The Company, through this division, works in renewable resources including wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; as well as coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. Power & Water is GE's largest industrial business.
Concerning projects related to wind farms, this month, it was announced that GE would install their WindCONTROL advanced software to help maximize energy output at two First Wind projects in Maine. The software automatically controls the output of each wind turbine in the wind farm. This is in contrast to an approach that depends on starting and stopping units to meet a power demand.
First Wind is a Boston-Massachusetts-based independent wind energy company, which owns and operates turbines throughout the U.S. These wind projects in Maine feature 95 GE wind turbines.
WindCONTROL is one of numerous software and controls upgrades provided by GE's wind services business. In addition, it is part of the company's broader Industrial Internet solution portfolio. GE wind services additionally provide solutions to customers via advanced software products such as WindBoost, Turbine Performance Optimization, Winter Ice Operation Mode and PulsePOINT.
Last week, GE announced fourth-quarter 2012 operating earnings of $4.7 billion, or $0.44 per share, both up 13 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. GAAP earnings from continuing operations were $4.3 billion, or $0.41 per share, up 9 percent and 11 percent respectively. The company's revenue was $39.3 billion for the quarter, up 4 percent, and $147.4 billion for the year. Industrial segment organic revenue growth was 4 percent for the quarter and 8 percent for the year.
GE experienced double-digit earnings growth for five of seven Industrial segments. Industrial segment profit rose 12 percent in the fourth quarter to $4.9 billion. All Industrial segments had positive earnings growth for the second consecutive quarter. For investors, this profit growth is a signal that, for the most part, effective cost control measures are in place within the company along with the proper pricing of products and services. Investors should look at companies who make a commitment to controlling expenses, while innovating, especially in today's business environment.
Moreover, Infrastructure orders for the quarter were $28.5 billion, up 2 percent, and up 7 percent excluding the effects of a decrease in orders for wind turbines, and FX. However, GE announced a contract with Renova Energia in Brazil worth $0.4 billion for 230 GE 1.68-82.5 wind turbines.
Investors who wish to explore the turbulent equity environment of alternative energy may want to research major corporations such as GE who have a foundation of other divisions that drive the company forward as they continue to develop their Power & Water operations.