GE profit falls after accounting change


General Electric posted a 3 per cent decline in first-quarter net income today after taking a charge related to an accounting change.

On an operating basis, profit rose 17 per cent as strength in the capital and power segments offset the effect of a weak US economy on other units.

Excluding items, earnings from ongoing operations totalled 35 cents per share compared with 30 cents per share a year ago.

Revenues for the quarter totalled $30.52 billion versus $30.49 billion in the first quarter of 2001.

The results met Wall Street targets. Analysts pegged GE at a profit of 35 cents per share, with estimates ranging narrowly from 34 cents to 36 cents per share, according to tracking firm Thomson Financial/First Call.