Jeffrey Immelt’s decade-long tenure as CEO has been one of “decline, mistakes, and wealth destruction,” Fortune concluded recently. And the nuclear disaster in Japan, involving GE-designed reactors, hasn’t helped the conglomerate’s reputation.But there’s still cause for optimism. GE’s order backlog for core industrial products like turbines and locomotive engines stands at $175 billion, and could grow if plans for a $53 billion high-speed rail project ever win Congressional approval. Meanwhile, Immelt has been allocating some $20 billion of capital annually into energy-oriented businesses. No wonder shares have nearly tripled since the depths of the financial crisis. —P.N.