No Surprises in GE Quarter

It was steady as she goes in General Electric's ( GE) third quarter, with the Connecticut-based industrial titan saying earnings rose 15% to match Wall Street estimates.

The company, whose shares are down about 5% this year, earned $4.68 billion, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $4.07 billion, or 39 cents a share, last year. Revenue rose 9% from a year ago to $41.93 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 44 cents on revenue of $41.09 billion.

Among segments, GE said third-quarter revenue rose 16% from a year ago to $12.2 billion in commercial finance, rose 22% to $4.9 billion in consumer finance; rose 12% to $10.1 billion in its infrastructure unit; rose 7% to $3.58 billion in healthcare; and rose 8% to $8.3 billion in industrial.

Revenue slid 26% to $3.0 billion at NBC Universal.

On the bottom line, third-quarter earnings rose 28% from a year ago to $1.5 billion at commercial finance; rose 19% from a year ago to $810 million at consumer finance; rose 17% to $1.9 billion at infrastructure; rose 17% to $589 million at healthcare; rose 56% to $629 million at industrial; and rose 17% to $603 million at NBC.

GE said it was its third consecutive quarter of 8% organic revenue growth. "We continue to optimize our growth initiatives for sustained and consistent performance," the company said.

"Orders were up 11%, services sales increased 9%, revenue from accelerating growth platforms, such as Healthcare IT and Oil & Gas, grew 24%, and we generated strong double-digit global revenue growth from markets such as China and Europe."

For the fourth quarter, the company expects to earn 56 cents to 58 cents a share. Analysts were forecasting 57 cents a share.

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