As its troubled financial unit GE Capital showed signs of life, General Electric on April 21 posted a nearly $3.4 billion profit for the first quarter.
The company, whose products range from aircraft engines to home appliances, said it would raise its shareholder dividend as profits rose nearly 80%.
The earnings smashed Wall Street estimates, sending its share price higher in pre-market trade.
"As today's results show, GE has emerged from the recession a stronger, more competitive company," GE CEO Jeff Immelt said.
"GE Healthcare, Transportation and Aviation delivered strong results," he said.
"GE Capital also had a strong first quarter, earning $1.8 billion after tax," Immelt added, noting a significant threshold crossed for the troubled financial unit, where segment profit more than tripled despite marginally better revenues.
"With losses having peaked, we are originating new business at attractive margins and our funding costs continue to be favorable."
"It was GE's financial service business which made the firm's bottom line balloon," said analyst Douglas McIntyre at 24/7 Wall St. "The numbers from GE Capital mask weakness in the conglomerate's other business, and particularly cost control."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011