Stocks to Watch: GE, McDonald's, Microsoft

NEW YORK -- General Electric ( GE) is expected by analysts Friday to post a first-quarter profit of 33 cents a share on revenue of $34.7 billion.

The industrial conglomerate posted year-earlier revenue of $38.45 billion.

The stock has risen almost 7% so far in 2012.

McDonald's ( MCD), the hamburger giant, is expected by analysts to earn $1.23 a share in the March-ended quarter on revenue of $6.54 billion.

The stock is off 5% this year.

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Microsoft ( MSFT) on Thursday posted stronger-than-expected earnings.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant reported third-quarter earnings of 60 cents a share on $17.41 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected profit of 57 cents a share on revenue of $17.16 billion.

CEO Steve Ballmer was positive on the quarter, especially the release of Windows 8, which will be a major driver of revenue.

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Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) easily beat Wall Street's first-quarter forecasts.

The No. 2 chipmaker posted a loss of $590 million, or 80 cents a share, a swing from year-earlier net income of $510 million, or 68 cents.

Excluding items, AMD earned 12 cents a share on net income of $92 million, up from 8 cents a share and $56 million in the same period last year. Analysts were looking for earnings of 9 cents a share.

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Honeywell ( HON) is expected to post first-quarter profit of 99 cents a share on revenue of $9.16 billion.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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