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GE profit mark beats estimate

General Electric Co. fourth quarter operating earnings were $4.7 billion, or 44 cents per share, topping the consensus estimate of 43 cents per share and exceeding fourth quarter 2011 operating earnings by 13 percent.

Revenues at the Fairfield-based GE rose 4 percent in the fourth quarter to $39.3 billion, while industrial sales rose 2 percent to $27.3 billion compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, the company announced Jan. 18.

For the full year, operating earnings were $16.1 billion, or $1.52 per share, up from operating earnings of $14.9 billion in 2011. Including the effects of discontinued operations, full-year net earnings were $13.6 billion, or $1.29 per share attributable to common shareholders, compared to $14.2 billion, or $1.23 per share, in 2011.

Full-year revenues were little changed at $147.4 billion and were up 3 percent excluding the $3.7 billion pre-tax gain on the sale of NBC Universal in 2011.

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