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General Electric Co. has electric third quarter

Oct. 21, 2011, New York, N.Y. - General Electric Co. said Friday that its third-quarter profit rose 18 per cent as its lending business continues to rebound.


October 21, 2011
By Carey Fredericks

The industrial and financial giant reported a profit of US$2.34 billion for the three-month period ended Sept. 30. That compares with $1.98 billion a year ago. Per-share earnings rose to 22 cents per share from 18 cents per share.

Excluding a large dividend payout to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, GE's profit rose 57 per cent to $3.22 billion or 31 cents per share.

Revenue was flat at $35.4 billion.

Analysts, who typically exclude special items, expected earnings of 31 cents per share on revenue of $34.8 billion.

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GE, based in Fairfield, Conn., has a massive reach within the global economy. It builds everything from jet engines to refrigerators, while its GE Capital lending arm is involved in variety of businesses including credit cards and real estate.

GE said industrial orders grew 16 per cent from the year-ago quarter. But its overall business benefited the most from GE Capital, which boosted segment earnings 79 per cent in the quarter to $1.47 billion.

Among GE's other businesses, aviation profit increased 7 per cent to $862 million, health care grew 5 per cent to $608 million and transportation increased 94 per cent to $196 million. But profit declined 9 per cent at its energy infrastructure business to $1.5 billion and 63 per cent in the home and business solutions division to to $38 million.

In September, GE announced it would buy back preferred shares from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for $3.3 billion. Buffett made the investment in October 2008 to prop up GE during the
U.S. banking meltdown. With GE Capital increasingly healthy, GE decided to buy back Berkshire's shares.