General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

expects to report earnings "solidly above $1.45" a share for 2001, saying that its diverse business lines have allowed the company to weather the economic slowdown.

The company previously projected earnings of $1.40 to $1.50 a share for the year. According to

Thomson Financial/First Call

, analysts expect the company to earn $1.47 for the full year. GE, which is based in Fairfield, Conn., earned $1.27 in 2000.

"The strength of the GE model really shines during slower parts of the business cycle -- our global diversity, service growth, quality efforts and digitization transformation have reduced GE's sensitivity to business cycles," the company said in a press release.

Shares of GE, a component of the

Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose 57 cents, or 1.1%, to $50.05 in recent

New York Stock Exchange