General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) released its earnings numbers for the three months ended September 30 this morning before markets opened. The firm showed revenue of $35.7 billion for the third quarter of the year. Earnings per share in the period came in at $0.53. In this morning’s pre-market session, shares in the diversified industrial firm were trading at 25.37, up nearly 3 percent.

General Electric GE

In the run up to the release of this earnings report analysts following General Electric Company were looking for earnings per share of 36 cents per share on revenue of $36 billion. In the same three months of 2012 the firm managed to earn 36 cents per share. Revenue in last year’s third quarter came to $36.3 billion.

General Electric earnings

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is something of an argument against massive industrial diversification. The $250 billion company is having trouble finding growth opportunities in a world that refuses economic recovery. The firm’s investors are happy to see the company grow slowly and steadily as the world economy recovers at the same pace.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) needs the world to recover in order to grow. The company does not need a collapse in Chinese industrial spending, or another European crisis, or more political deadlock in Washington DC. Any of those could set the company’s slow rate of recovery back to zero.

General Electric performance

Despite the poor performance of the world economy, and General Electric by proxy, shares in GE have done well in recent months. The 17% gains made by the stock since January come in below the 20% gains made by the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) in the same period, but the company’s shares have grown substantially.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) executives will host a conference call to discuss these earnings at 10 AM EST. Major topics of conversation will include the company’s growth expectations across the world, with Europe and China taking center stage.