General ElectricGeneral Electric (GE) reported second-quarter earnings Friday that beat analysts estimates and broke a string of several quarterly declines.

The conglomerate's profit from continuing operations totaled $3.3 billion or $0.30 cents per share in the quarter that just ended, up 15% from a year ago. Analysts from Thomson Reuters were expecting a profit of $0.27 a share.

Revenues fell below expectations, coming in at $37.4 billion, down 4% from a year ago.

In a statement, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said "GE's economic environment continues to improve," citing growth in orders, margins and earnings amid other encouraging signs in the quarter."

Immelt also noted that "Equipment orders increased 17%, including 20% growth in the Energy Infrastructure segment and 14% at Technology Infrastructure. Oil & Gas and Healthcare orders were particular bright spots and helped hold total company orders backlog roughly flat, excluding the impact of foreign exchange."

GE also said that it expects "to grow earnings and dividends in 2011 and beyond."

Shares of General Electric jumped as much as 2.6% in premarket trading.

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