Diversified giant General Electric Co (GE) reported 52 percent growth in its quarterly profit that blew past estimates on growth in Technology Infrastructure and NBC Universal Businesses and lower costs.
For the fourth quarter, GE posted net earnings attributable to common shareowners of $4.46 billion, or 42 cents a share, up from $2.94 billion, or 28 cents a share, last year.
Quarterly revenues were almost flat with year at $41.38 billion as revenue from GE Capital and Energy Infrastructure fell 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Wall Street expected GE to earn 32 cents a share on revenue of $39.90 billion, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Fourth quarter orders grew 12 year-over-year, with a 20 percent increase in equipment and a 5 percent expansion in services. Orders in Energy Infrastructure advanced 4 percent.
GE ended the quarter with a backlog of $175 billion.
Revenue from Technology Infrastructure business rose 9 percent to $10.93 billion, thereby increasing the segment's profit by 11 percent to $1.88 billion.
Meanwhile, NBC Universal segment generated revenue of $4.76 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $4.27 billion last year. Operating profit from the segment also climbed 38 percent to $830 million.
GE, a Dow component, also benefited from lower expenses as total costs declined 2 percent to $37.81 billion.
"GE ended 2010 with three consecutive quarters of strong earnings growth," GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement.
Looking ahead, GE said a delay in the closing of the company's sale of its majority stake in NBC Universal from the fourth-quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011 resulted in a lower-than-expected tax rate in the fourth-quarter and will result in a higher tax rate in the first quarter.
Shares of Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE closed Thursday's regular trading session at $18.43 on the NYSE. For the past 52-weeks, the stock has been trading in the range of $13.75 to $19.70.