NBC Uni helps strong GE Q2

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General Electric, the world's second-biggest company, reported a 10% increase in second-quarter income and executives praised the leadership at its NBC Universal unit for delivering its third consecutive quarter of positive earnings growth.

The company made $5.4 billion, up from $4.9 billion in the same quarter a year ago, on revenue that rose 12% to a record $42.3 billion.

GE's results matched expectations, and the company offered current-quarter guidance also about equal to what Wall Street expected.

Investors liked the news and drove the stock up 1.3% on Friday to $39.50, giving the company a $406.4 billion market capitalization, second only to Exxon-Mobil's $508.9 billion.

Although revenue at NBC Universal declined 6% to $3.6 billion, profit rose 2% to $904 million.

NBC's broadcast network has fallen from first to fourth over the course of a few years despite such hit series as "Heroes" and "The Office," but Bravo and Sci Fi Channel recorded year-to-date ratings increases of 13% and 9%, respectively, and "business day ratings" at CNBC rose 24%.

CFO Keith Sherin said film results alone were up 100% as a strong response to "Knocked Up," "Hot Fuzz" and "Mr. Bean's Holiday."

The company sold 5 million more DVDs in the second quarter than it did in the year-ago frame, Sherin said. He said that NBC.com has made $20 million in the year since its launch and has served 300 million video streams.
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