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Instant View - GE profit jumps 16 percent in first quarter

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

(Reuters) - General Electric Co <GE.N> reported a 16 percent rise in first-quarter earnings on Friday as it sold more equipment for oil and gas drilling and shed its stake in NBC Universal.

The world's biggest maker of jet engines and electric turbines said it had earned $3.53 billion (2.30 billion pounds), or 34 cents per share, compared with $3.03 billion, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

Commentary:

ADAM SARHAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF SARHAN CAPITAL IN NEW YORK

"GE is a great representation of the American economy because it has so many different lines of business. The fact that they did well bodes well for the economy at large, as well as other blue chip companies. Still, growth remains somewhat anaemic, both for the economy and earnings. While GE bodes well for today, the market is looking for more growth."

JACK DEGAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT HARBOR ADVISORY CORP

PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE, OWNS GE SHARES

"The revenue number is better than expectations. You have to be very careful about making assumptions on the revenue, though, because one huge determinant of that is how fast they run off the GE Finance portfolio."

"There's so many moving parts in that revenue number you really have to wait for the conference call to see how much they took down ending net investments."

"But that is a beat on revenue, and that's important because the Street has been very worried about revenue numbers at industrial firms because the quarter appears to have tailed off in March."

"I expect it (dividend increase) to go from 19 cents to 21 cents -a 10 percent jump, but I don't expect it this quarter. Maybe next quarter.

OLIVER PURSCHE, PRESIDENT OF GARY GOLDBERG FINANCIAL SERVICES, SUFFERN, NEW YORK, OWNS GE SHARES

"The impact of the NBC Universal sale really means that operating income is right in line with expectations."

"The backlog is probably a slight negative. To me when you see a trend, year over year, repeating itself, there's a business management issue. Eventually that's got to change."

"Aviation (sales) is very encouraging. That has some real global demand repercussions. It's beyond just GE. That's a durable good order. It translates into real economic activity."

(Reporting By Ernest Scheyder and Ryan Vlastelica in New York)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130419/instant-view-ge-profit-jumps-16-percent-first-quarter