General Electric Co., the country's largest and most diversified producer of electrical and electronic equipment, yesterday said first-quarter net income was $215.4 million (95 cents a share) up 25 per cent from $172.5 million (77 cents) a year ago. Sales were $4.06 billion, up 17 per cent from $3.48 billion a year ago. Net income in the 1976 quarter was restated for the merger with Utah International, a natural resources exploration company.
GE chairman Reginald H. Jones, said substantial increases in sales and earnings from consumer goods, industrial components and system sales, and gas turbine and power delivery apparatus more than offset a small loss in the nuclear energy busines, decreased steam turbine-generator shipments and generally lower earnings from foreign manufacturing operations.
Jones said "we anticipate the company's results will show improvement . . . throughout the year," but he said the rate of increase will lesson because of stronger results reported in the later months of 1976.
Whiilpool Corp. yesterday reported that consolidated sales for the first-quarter of 1977 totaled $440.5 million, up 15 per cent from $382.5 million in the period last year.
The firm, a major manufacturer of large household appliances, listed net earnings of $24.8 million (69 cents a share) compared with $18.8 million (52 cents) in the openings quarter of 1976.
The report reflected losses from discontinued operations, including the TV business of its Warwick Electronics Division, which was sold. The remainder of Warwick was transfered to a new unit, Thomas International Corp.
Production from the company's natural gas wells in Ohio, along with stringent conservation programs, enable the company to maintain near-normal operations at its Ohio plants in spite of extended and substantial curtailment of supplies of commercial natural gas during the quarter.
Abbott Laboratories achieved record first-quarter earnings of $25.2 million, an increase of 27 per cent from the $19.8 million in the first quarter of 1975, chairman Edward J. Ledder announced yesterday.
Per-share earnings of the Chicago-based company were 85 cents compared with 72 cents for the first quarter a year ago. The 18 per cent increase in earnings per share was lower than that registered for peak earnings beause of an additional issue of 2 million shares of common stock last August.
Sales for the first quarter rose 11 per cent to $283.4 million from $255.85 million during the completed period a year ago.