Instant view: GE Q1 profit jumps 80 percent

Markets Reuters

(Reuters) - General Electric Co reported an 80 percent surge in first-quarter profit, driven by a sharp improvement at its finance arm and rising earnings at its units that make jet engines and locomotives.

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The largest U.S. conglomerate said first-quarter earnings attributable to common shareholders came to $3.36 billion, or 31 cents a share, up from $1.87 billion, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier.

GE shares rose 3.7 percent to $21.15 in pre-market trading.

Following are reactions from industry analysts and investors:

HEINZ-GERD SONNENSCHEIN, EQUITY STRATEGIST, DEUTSCHE POSTBANK, BONN

"Expectations have clearly been exceeded -- this refers to sales and EPS. The only thing that is a bit of a question mark is the strong rise in operating earnings at GE Capital, which sort of has been the company's black box. That aside, the numbers look strong, and I would expect the market to react positively."

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HOWARD WHEELDON, SENIOR STRATEGIST, BGC PARTNERS, LONDON

"This is a superb turnaround. It's not a lot difference to what a lot of people are expecting, but this is decent growth. It sends the right message that GE is reflecting an improvement in the U.S. economy, and indeed more importantly it reflects the improvement of the global economy.... I don't see, in my very quick look at this, any specific negative. They will go down pretty well."

(Reporting by Dominic Lau)