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GE to Buy Medical Firm; Profit Slips

October 11, 2003|From Associated Press

General Electric Co.'s earnings fell 11% in the third quarter, pushed down by an accounting charge and lower sales of gas turbines and aircraft engines. The company warned Friday that profit for the current quarter might come in lower than expected.

The conglomerate also announced it had agreed to another big acquisition -- a $9.5-billion deal for Amersham, a British medical diagnostics firm.

The move is part of a broader transformation of GE's portfolio of businesses, some of which have had to cope with downturns in the airline and energy sectors.

In its earnings report, GE said its profit fell to $3.65 billion, or 36 cents a share, for the quarter compared with $4.09 billion, or 41 cents, a year earlier.

Before an accounting-related charge of $372 million, GE reported earnings of $4 billion, or 40 cents. That matched the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Revenue in the third quarter was up 2% to $33.4 billion.

GE shares fell 81 cents, or 2.7%, to $29.32 on the New York Stock Exchange.

"We delivered broad-based performance and continued to develop the resources with which we will create growth in a slow-growth world," said GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt.

Immelt said Amersham will supplement GE Medical's diagnostic imaging, services and health-care information technology businesses.

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