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GE Reaffirms Earnings Forecast

September 26, 2002

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ General Electric Co. reaffirmed its earnings forecast for the third quarter and the year Thursday, but said the economic environment is tougher than expected.

In a Webcast with analysts, GE said it expects earnings of $4.1 billion, or 41 cents per share, for the current third quarter and $1.65 per share for the year. Those forecasts match the consensus estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

The third-quarter results, which will be reported next month, would be up 25 percent from the same period last year, when net income was $3.28 billion, or 33 cents per share.

``We think these results are going to look very strong in this very difficult time,″ said Keith Sherin, GE’s chief financial officer.

GE declined to offer a forecast for next year, saying that would come in December as in previous years.

``But I can tell you the environment is tougher than we expected,″ Sherin said.

He said sluggish economic activity in the United States has affected some of GE’s businesses, such as plastics and industrial systems.

Shares of GE fell 61 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close Thursday at $26.39 on the New York Stock exchange.

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