GE profit, revenue top expectations for quarter

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 12:30 hrs

REUTERS - General Electric Co reported a better-than-expected 7.5 percent rise in profit on Friday, reflecting a campaign by the largest U.S. conglomerate to boost margins as well as higher sales of equipment used in oil and gas production.

GE, the world's biggest maker of jet engines and electric turbines, said fourth-quarter earnings rose to $4.01 billion, or 38 cents per share, from $3.73 billion, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.

Factoring out one-time items, profit came to 44 cents per share, a penny ahead of analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 3.6 percent to $39.33 billion from $37.97 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected revenue of $38.76 billion.

The growth reflected Chief Executive Jeff Immelt's shift in GE's portfolio deeper into the energy equipment business.

"The outlook for developed markets remains uncertain, but we are seeing growth in China and the resource rich countries," Immelt said in a statement.

Shares rose 1.3 percent to $21.57 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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