General Electric's ( GE) share price tumbled in early trading this morning despite the fact that it beat estimates in its quarterly earnings report today. Shares stabilized after the open and have been flat since.

I attempted to cover the call by sending 15 emails to my overworked editor in the space of about an hour, while he coded and posted them. Thanks, Mike! Anyway, here's what I came up with. I don't claim to be an expert on GE, but I do attempt to follow the company and I do claim to give you my honest view, which is more than you'll get from most experts.

( At 8:40 a.m. EDT)

Due to technological difficulties, I'm 5 minutes late. Not sure who's talking: I assume Keith Sherin, the CFO. First words I hear are: "There's still some volatility." Here's a list of words that should be banned from earnings calls: volatility, cautious, near-term, longer-term, headwinds.

Aha! He says something that actually means something: "Margin headwinds at NBC" says they'll go through that later.

"Wind hung in there almost flat for the quarter."

"Real headwind in health care."

( At 8:42 a.m. EDT)

Several BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) projects will break in the second quarter.

( At 8:44 a.m. EDT)

Lots of discussion of Iraq-related business. I hadn't even thought about this. Something sinister about the contrast between boring GE ( GE) and way-too-exciting death and destruction in Iraq. (I know, things are improving, only probably a couple Iraqis blown up a week. Thanks, GE!)

( At 8:48 a.m. EDT)

This same gentleman I haven't identified yet but who is probably Sherin -- aha, turns out it was Immelt himself. Sorry, Jeff!

Anyway, Immelt said something like: "That shows how serious we take having a very stable balance sheet." Thanks, Jeff. You never seemed unserious about anything to me, but then we've never met.

Now here's Keith. This should be fun. I just love numbers!

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