GE to Restate Results for Several Years

FAIRFIELD, Conn.-- General Electric Co. said Friday it will restate financial results for several years, boosting earnings by $381 million from 2001 through the first quarter of 2005. The diversified industrial, finance and media company boosted its guidance for earnings in the second quarter and reaffirmed its full-year forecast.

It also announced plans to sell a business that provides liability insurance for physicians and dentists to a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for $825 million.

GE shares edged up 2 cents to $35.87 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company said the non-cash restatement represents less than six-tenths of one percent of GE's earnings over this period. The restatement covers the years 2002 through 2004, certain financial information for the year 2001 and each quarter in 2003 and 2004.

Separately, GE reaffirmed 2005 earnings per share guidance of $1.78 to $1.83, and raised estimates for second-quarter profit to between 43 cents and 45 cents per share from prior guidance of 42 cents to 44 cents.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial are expecting second-quarter and full-year profit of 45 cents and $1.82 per share, respectively.

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said April orders were strong. "We remain committed to meeting or exceeding our expectations and those of investors," he said.