GE's 2Q Earnings Up, Revenue Increases

Associated Press

General Electric Co.'s second-quarter earnings rose 3 percent, narrowly beating Wall Street expectations as revenue climbed 11 percent, the company said Friday.

Chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt said orders were strong and added, "this is the best economy we've seen in years."

The Fairfield-based industrial, financial services and media conglomerate said it earned $3.9 billion, or 38 cents a share, in the three months ended June 30, up from $3.8 billion, or 38 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 37 cents a share.

Revenue rose to $37.0 billion from $33.4 billion a year ago.

Orders continue to be strong, growing at 13 percent with service orders up 29 percent, Immelt said.

Immelt said nine of its 11 businesses contributed double-digit improvements to earnings.

"We feel like this is a great point in time for the company, and again, we're feeling good about the economy, but more importantly we're feeling good about the strategy and the positioning of the company," Immelt said in a conference call with analysts.

The quarter also saw GE complete the purchase of a British medical products company Amersham PLC and the NBC merger with Universal.

Net earnings for the year so far were $7.16 billion, or 69 cents per share, compared with earnings of $6.79 billion, or 70 cents per share for the first six months of 2003.

Revenues for the six months ended June 30 were up 10 percent to $70.3 billion, compared with $63.8 billion the year before.

GE shares were up 33 cents to $32.03 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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