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GE Aviation,a segment of General Electric Company (GE - Free Report) , recently announced its plans to shortly open a “digital collaboration center” (DCC) in downtown Austin. This center will be the fourth of its kind to have opened this year by GE digital solutions.

In 2012, General Electric entered the Austin market with the acquisition of Austin Digital Inc., a 40-person supplier of flight operations data analysis. The company currently employs 100 workers.

Ohio based GE Aviation will be creating the center in collaboration with the Australia-based Qantas Airways Ltd. This collaboration will enable GE Aviation to provide its services to nearly 100 airlines, which will use its technology.

Earlier this year, General Electric inked a deal with The Hub Power Company, Pakistan’s largest independent power producer, to provide digital industrial solutions for the 1,292-megawatt Hubco Power Plant situated in Baluchistan, Pakistan. Alongside, in order to tap the local talent and nurture technological innovation, General Electric opened a new digital office in Paris – Digital Foundry, which is likely to be the hotbed for the industrial ecosystem. The Digital Foundry is the first of the four digital offices that are set to be opened this year, to form a global network of centers through which GE Digital intends to incubate local startups, form client collaborations to develop new applications and extend the burgeoning community of industrial developers in Europe.    

With approximately 44,000 employees, and 84 facilities, GE Aviation posted $6,511 million as revenue in the second-quarter 2016. The introduction of the Austin office will be GE Aviation’s only technology center in the US.

The company continues to expand its portfolio across various regions in the world. Setting up such centers will enable it gain an edge over its peers as well as work closely with the locals in the specified regions. Such expansions will help improve General Electric’s top line, going forward.

We remain encouraged with such strategic endeavors of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the industry include Raven Industries Inc. (RAVN - Free Report) , Sumitomo Corporation (SSUMY - Free Report) and Barloworld Ltd. (BRRAY - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Raven has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 10% and is currently trading at a forward P/E of 46.6x. Its share price has increased by approximately 51.4% year to date.

Barlow has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 7% and is currently trading at a forward P/E of 9.7x. Its share price has increased by approximately 4% year to date.

Sumitomo has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 5% and is currently trading at a forward P/E of 11.4x. Its share price has increased by approximately 9.4% year to date.

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