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General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) stock rose nearly 3% to a 52-week high of $28.99 Friday morning after posting better than expected earnings.
The rise has General Electric (NYSE: GE) stock trading at its best level in seven years.
Trading volume was extremely high this morning. More than 39 million shares had changed hands in just the first hour of trading today. GE stock's average daily volume is 47.83 million shares.
Revenue slipped 1.3% to $31.68 billion in the quarter. The company reported a 16% revenue drop in its segment that supplies equipment services to oil and gas customers. However, revenue in other essential units was steady.
Revenue in GE's aviation arm grew 5%. Revenue in its biggest segment, water, increased 1%.
GE is still in the midst of spinning off its financial business. The finance arm once accounted for about half of GE's earnings.
Over the last year, GE has made an aggressive shift to focus on its core industrial businesses, including aviation, energy, transportation, and healthcare. GE's goal is to generate 90% of its profits from its industrial units by 2018, up from 55% in 2013.
GE's finance unit, which fell under the U.S. Federal Reserve's "to big to fail" label, was becoming a serious drag amid numerous regulatory issues.
Earlier this week, GE sold $300 billion in commercial lending and leasing businesses to Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC). General Electric has now signed deals for almost all of its financing businesses.
GE also said it will launch a share exchange for Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF), its consumer finance arm, next week. The exchange is expected to result in a 6% to 7% reduction of GE's roughly 10.1 billion outstanding shares.
The Synchrony exchange, along with some $3 billion in dividends from its GE Capital unit, puts the company on track to return roughly $30 billion in 2015. GE plans to return $90 billion to investors through 2018.
Year to date, GE stock is up 12.7%. In the same time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 3.7%.