General Electric Company (GE) Beats The Street, European Sales Slump

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General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) reported its first quarter earnings this morning before opening bell, topping the expectations of Wall Street. The company posted first-quarter operating earnings per share of 39 cents, an increase of 15 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The company reported first-quarter continuing earnings per share of 35 cents, which is an increase of 17 percent.

General Electric Company (GE) Beats The Street, European Sales Slump

Revenue did slip, however, to $35 billion, compared to $35.18 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Nonetheless, it beat the expectations of analysts. Consensus was for earnings per share of 35 cents on $34.6 billion in revenue.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)’s earnings received a boost by selling its stake in NBC Universal for $16.7 billion to Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). It also sold more gas and oil drilling equipment during the quarter. However, gains were limited as sales of water and power equipment in Europe slumped.

“GE’s markets were mixed,” said Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement. “The U.S. and growth markets were in line with expectations. We planned for a continued challenging environment in Europe, but conditions weakened further with Industrial segment revenues in the region down 17 percent.”

Aviation orders surged during the quarter, climbing 47 percent, while gas orders rose 24 percent and equipment orders rose 10 percent. Earnings for GE Capital also jumped 9 percent during the quarter. Overall, the company posted profit growth in five of its eight businesses and double-digit industrial segment revenue growth in five of nine growth markets, including China.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) left its overall guidance for the year unchanged. Shares of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) slipped in pre-market trading, falling as much as 2 percent in the pre-market hours.

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