Updated from 1:05 p.m. EST

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

said Tuesday that it expected its profits to "modestly exceed" Wall Street's estimates for the first quarter.

Following the announcement, GE's shares rose 10 points, or 7.1%, to close at 150 15/16.

The Fairfield, Conn.-based company said it was experiencing "strong economies and increasing acceptance of GE products and services across most of their businesses in all regions of the world."

GE, which makes industrial products including jet engines and operates GE Capital, the world's largest nonbank finance company, said order rates were running about 20% ahead of 1999 levels, giving the company "unusually strong momentum."

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GE said that as a result of the higher-than-expected growth, it was likely to exceed the consensus earnings estimate of 75 cents a share, which analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

projected for the first quarter.

The company earned 65 cents a share in the first quarter of 1999.

GE has proposed a 3-for-1 stock split; the company's shareholders are expected to vote on the split at GE's annual meeting April 26.

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