NEW YORK - General Electric's (GE) third quarter profit rose 11 percent on strong performance from its aviation and oil and gas divisions.
GE reported Friday net income of $3.54 billion for the quarter on sales of $36.17 billion. Last year during the same period the company earned $3.19 billion on revenue of $35.66 billion.
The company, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, said it earned 35 cents per share for the quarter. GE's operating earnings, which is closely watched by investors, rose 6 percent to 38 cents per share. The operating earnings exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 37 cents per share.
GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement that the global economic environment was "volatile, but infrastructure growth opportunities exist."
Profit at the company's oil and gas division, which makes and services drilling equipment, rose 27 percent in the quarter. Its transportation division also benefited from increasing oil and gas activity. Locomotive sales rose, in part thanks to oil companies turning to railroads to ship oil to refineries.
The company's aviation division, which sells and services aircraft engines and accounts for the biggest share of company profits, also performed well. Profit at the division rose 16 percent to $1.26 billion in the quarter.
GE shares were up 60 cents, or 2.5 percent, in trading two hours before the market open. GE shares have dropped 13 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased roughly 1 percent.