Industrial, financial and media conglomerate General Electric Co. said Friday its fourth-quarter profit rose 4 percent on strong global demand, and it reaffirmed its outlook for fiscal 2008.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, net income rose to $6.7 billion, or 66 cents per share, from $6.44 billion, or 62 cents per share, a year ago. Earnings from continuing operations totaled 68 cents per share in the latest period, up from 58 cents in the prior-year quarter.
Revenue rose 18 percent to $48.59 billion from $41.28 billion a year ago.
Profit met the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, while revenue topped Wall Street's outlook of $47.28 billion. GE had forecast a quarterly profit of 67 cents to 69 cents per share.
The company said more than half of its revenue now comes from outside the U.S., helping to cushion GE from a possible U.S. recession.
Looking ahead, GE said it expects to earn $2.42 per share from continuing operations in 2008, on $195 billion in revenue, compared with Wall Street's consensus estimates of $2.43 per share on revenue of $188.66 billion.
For the first quarter, the company also backed guidance for profit of 50 cents to 53 cents per share from continuing operations. Wall Street is predicting profit of 51 cents per share.
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