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GE Denies Profit Warning Rumor

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General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

affirmed fourth-quarter and full-year 2000 earnings expectations in response to "an outrageous rumor this morning" that the company was planning to announce lower profits.

The company said it remains comfortable with analysts' expectations for the fourth quarter and year, and expects to meet the consensus estimate of $1.27 a share in 2000, up 19% from profits of $1.07 a share last year. Ten analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expect fourth-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share.

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General Electric also said its operations "continue to run at a record pace" and dismissed the morning rumor, saying "nothing could be further from the truth."

The company's stock was beaten down in pre-opening

Instinet

trading this morning, down at $48.38 from its Tuesday closing price of $50.75. After the company's initial denial, the shares rose to $49.25.

GE was recently lower by 2.5%, or $1.25, to $49.50 in early trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

.