updated 10/13/2006 9:35:54 AM ET 2006-10-13T13:35:54

General Electric Co. said Friday its third-quarter profit rose 6 percent as the industrial products, financial services and media conglomerate reported strong orders across the company.

GE makes products ranging from light bulbs to power generation turbines and owns the NBC television network.

The results matched Wall Street earnings expectations and beat revenue expectations. It shares slipped 37 cents to $35.85 in premarket trading.

Net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 totaled $4.96 billion, or 48 cents per share, compared with $4.68 billion, or 44 cents per share, a year ago.

Results included a loss from discontinued operations of $100 million and adjustments related to the Genworth and GE Insurance Solutions divestitures and the results of GE Life, which is in the process of being sold.

Earnings from continuing operations were 49 cents per share, which matched the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Revenue climbed 12 percent to $40.86 billion in the latest quarter from $36.37 billion a year ago. Analysts had forecast sales of $39.78 billion.

“Our strong third-quarter performance was led by our infrastructure segment, where profits rose 24 percent on excellent performances across its portfolio including energy, which is on track for the strong second half we expected,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in a statement.

The company posted organic revenue growth of 10 percent as total orders rose 15 percent.

For the first nine months of the year, GE earned $14.1 billion, or $1.36 a share, versus $13.3 billion, or $1.25 a share, a year ago. Nine-month revenue rose to $118.6 billion from $107.3 billion a year earlier.

The company said in July that it intends to sell its electrical products distributor to Rexel Inc., based in France, for $725 million.

It also acquired a significant interest in Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya and, in June, announced intentions to team with Credit Suisse Group will team in a $1 billion project to invest in infrastructure projects worldwide.

That joint venture, in which the companies will invest $500 million each, is intended to develop and finance utility work such as power generation and transmission projects, water projects, and gas storage and pipelines.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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