General Electric Co reported a 36 percent drop in quarterly profit, but topped Wall Street's expectations on the back of its large energy operation, which makes electricity-producing turbines.

The largest U.S. conglomerate said on Friday net income attributable to common shareholders came to $2.74 billion, or 26 cents per diluted share, down from $4.3 billion, or 43 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, looked for profit of 21 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue fell 9 percent to $38.41 billion. Its order backlog remained stable at $171 billion.

Profit at GE Capital -- the company's primary weak spot -- fell 58 percent to $1.12 billion. GE said the unit remained on track for a profitable year.

Earlier in the quarter, the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company cut its quarterly dividend by 68 percent and was stripped of its top-tier AAA credit rating by both Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's.

Its shares were up 3.5 percent to $12.70 in pre-market trading.

As of Thursday's close, the shares are down approximately 63 percent over the past 12 months, a far sharper drop than the 36 percent fall of the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI>.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Derek Caney)