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VOL. 35 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 15, 2011




GE net income rises 77 percent in 1Q

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NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Thursday that earnings jumped 77 percent in the first quarter, led by strong results in its financial services business.

The company's lending arm, GE Capital, has experienced big profit increases during the past few quarters. That's a sharp contrast from a few years ago, when risky loans forced GE to book huge write-downs in its lending business.

"As today's results show, GE has emerged from the recession a stronger, more competitive company," GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement.

General Electric reported net income of $3.43 billion, or 31 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31. That compares with $1.95 billion, or 17 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue increased 6 percent to $38.45 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of 28 cents per share on revenue of $34.8 billion, according to FactSet. Shares rose 66 cents, about 3.3 percent, to $21.06 in premarket trading.

GE Capital's profits more than tripled to $1.8 billion in the quarter. Revenue rose 3 percent and GE Capital took a smaller provision against possible loan losses.

GE's transportation, health care, aviation, and home and business solutions businesses also posted increased earnings.

Profit at GE's energy infrastructure business, however, declined 7 percent to $1.38 billion.

GE has spent about $11 billion recently to acquire numerous energy companies including French equipment developer Converteam, Dresser Inc., Wellstream Holdings, Lineage Power Holdings and Well Support.

The company also sold a controlling stake in NBC Universal to Comcast Corp. during the quarter for $6.2 billion in cash. GE now has a 49 percent ownership in NBC.

GE said it would raise its quarterly dividend by a penny to 15 cents per share in the third quarter.

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