General Electric reports better results, lifting shares

©Agence France-Presse

Shares of General Electric rose after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly profits

New York (AFP) - General Electric reported better-than-expected quarterly profits Tuesday behind improved performance in most industrial divisions, including aviation and oil and gas.

Shares rose after the industrial conglomerate, which has struggled the last two years or so, reported first-quarter profits of $3.5 billion, compared with a loss of $1.2 billion in the year-ago period.

Revenues dipped 1.8 percent to $27.3 billion.

Earnings rose in aviation, oil and gas and healthcare, offsetting a loss in renewable energy and much lower earnings in power, an albatross for GE in recent years.

Under Lawrence Culp, who was tapped as chief executive last October, the company has moved to resolve regulatory problems, cut costs and divest some units to reduce debt. 

But Culp has warned that the company's troubled power division will remain under pressure in 2019.

"We saw progress in the first quarter as we continued to execute on our priorities to improve our financial position and strengthen our businesses," Culp said in a statement. 

"Our quarterly results were better than our expectations, largely driven by timing of certain items, which should balance out over the course of the year. Therefore, we expect our performance for the year to be in line with our previous commentary."

Shares jumped 5.9 percent to $10.30 in pre-market trading.