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Earnings and Outlook Roundup

GE predicts 10% growth in profit

December 12, 2007|From Times Wire Services

General Electric Co. said it expected 2008 profit of $2.42 a share, up at least 10% from this year, but falling short of analysts' expectations.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected per-share earnings of $2.49.

Revenue for 2008 is expected at $195 billion, Chief Executive Jeffrey R. Immelt said at an analysts meeting in New York. Analysts are projecting revenue of $186.5 billion next year.

GE said per-share earnings for the fourth quarter would be 67 cents to 69 cents and earnings would be $2.19 to 2.21 for the year.

GE's outlook is in line with the estimate of $2.20 by analysts.

GE also said it expected revenue of $172 billion for the year, slightly better than analysts' estimates of $171.4 billion.

The Fairfield, Conn.-based industrial conglomerate, with properties as varied as aircraft engine manufacturing and the NBC television network, also announced a dividend and stock repurchase of $26 billion.

NBC Universal has been difficult, Immelt said. "The network has been a problem spot for sure," he said, citing lower ratings and the writers strike. However, GE hopes that NBC will benefit from its coverage of the Beijing Olympics next summer.

GE shares closed at $37.03, down 38 cents.

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