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General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

posted a 9% rise in fourth-quarter profits, meeting estimates, and said it can achieve its 2002 earnings goals even if the economy doesn't cooperate.

The conglomerate said it earned $3.93 billion, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $3.59 billion, or 36 cents per share, a year ago. Revenues were $33.98 billion, down from $34.98 billion a year ago. On a comparable basis, the company said revenues rose 3%.

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The company's largest segment, GE Capital, said operating earnings rose 15% in the quarter from a year ago. The company also saw earnings growth in its power systems, technical products & services, and appliances units. Profits fell at the aircraft engines, industrial products & systems, materials and NBC segments.

GE reiterated its goal of 17% to 18% earnings growth in 2002, "even if the economy does not recover," said CEO Jeff Immelt.