Updated with added information about the results, Immelt quotes.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. ( TheStreet) -- General Electric ( GE) echoed a familiar refrain as it reported second-quarter results that fell slightly short on the top line but showed progress in the company's closely watched GE Capital finance unit.

"GE is well positioned across the portfolio, both financially and competitively," CE Jeff Immelt said in the press release accompanying the numbers. "The company continues to generate strong cash flow, which we will invest strategically to create shareholder value, while keeping the company safe. We expect to grow earnings and dividends in 2011 and beyond."

That last bit about growing earnings and dividends next year is essentially the same vague view that Immelt offered last time around.

The Dow component said its second-quarter earnings from continuing operations totaled $3.3 billion, or 30 cents a share, while revenue fell 4% in the three months ended June 30 to $37.4 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected GE to post profit of 27 cents a share on revenue of $38.37 billion.

Net income for the quarter was $3.03 billion, or 28 cents a share, up 16% from $2.61 billion, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier.

GE Capital posted a pretax profit of $700 million, and Immelt called the performance "particularly encouraging."

"Losses and impairments declined $0.5 billion from the prior quarter, with consumer losses down $0.4 billion and real estate losses in line with our expectations," Immelt said of GE Capital. "We have strengthened the franchise over the past year and GE Capital's earnings recovery should continue."

The stock finished Thursday at $15.25, up a nickel for the session. Year-to-date, the shares have risen less than 1%, but are off 23% since hitting a 52-week high of $19.70 on April 30.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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