GE profit tops analysts' estimates

 @ibtimes on January 22 2010 8:48 AM

General Electric Co reported earnings that topped Wall Street expectations, as it kept costs in line despite still-sluggish demand for electric turbines and other heavy equipment.

The largest U.S. conglomerate said on Friday that fourth-quarter profit attributable to common shareholders fell 19 percent to $2.94 billion, or 28 cents per share, from $3.65 billion, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected profit of 26 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 10 percent.

The world's biggest maker of jet engines and electricity-producing turbines has been hit hard by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and is working to scale back its hefty GE Capital finance arm, which has invested heavily in commercial real estate.

GE shares have risen 28 percent over the past year, trailing the 33 percent rise of the Dow Jones industrial average. <.DJI>

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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