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General Electric's earnings fall, outlook strong

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - General Electric (GE) is reporting lower net income than a year ago because last year's results included the sale of NBC Universal. But the company said industrial divisions performed well and the economic environment was "positive."

GE earned $3 billion in the first quarter on revenue of $34.18 billion, down from $3.5 billion on revenue of $34.94 billion during the same period last year.

On a per share basis, GE earned 30 cents.

Adjusted to reflect continuing operations and to remove the effect of one-time charges, GE earned 33 cents per share, down 15 percent from a year ago.

Analysts had expected GE to earn 32 cents per share, on average, on sales of $34.45 billion, according to FactSet. GE shares rose slightly in trading before the market opened Thursday.

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