GE Earnings Drop 47% on Finance Woes

(Updated profit vs. concensus estimate and analyst comments; updated premarket trading>)

General Electric ( GE) saw its quarterly earnings from continuing operations drop by 47% from its second quarter last year, due to big declines inits capital finance unit and NBC Universal.

GE earned $2.9 billion from continuing operations, or 26 cents a share. Its strongest segment was Energy Infrastructure, in which revenue grew by 13% from last year's second quarter. But Capital Finance saw an 80% sales drop and NBCUrevenue fell by 40%.

The results beat the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomas Reuters, which had estimated earnings of 23 cents a share. Analyst Terry Darling of Goldman Sachs wrote, "strong share price performance over the last several days likely limitsupside, with ongoing regulatory uncertainty still a key overhang."

GE touted what it said was a record backlog of $122 billion in contractual service orders and said the $7.1 billion cash flow in its industrial unit is ahead of a plan it laid out for investors earlier in the year.

"In a global economic environment that continues to remain challenging, GE delivered solid second-quarter business results," GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said.

GE shares were losing 3.4% to $11.98 in recent premarket trading.

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