General Electric Co.'s first-quarter earnings rose 5 percent to $377 million ($1.66 a share) from $359 million ($1.57) a year earlier as sales slipped one percent to $6.02 billion from $6.09 billion.

GE said the results reflected how gains in high-technology and service businesses offset slow sales of appliances and other goods largely dependent on the depressed consumer and construction markets.

Gains in the high-technology area were led by its medical systems and aerospace businesses, the company said.

Quarterly earnings of its credit subsidiary surged 89 percent from a year ago to $51 million, GE said.

Meanwhile, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Co. reported that it lost $5 million in its fiscal second quarter ended Feb. 28 because of unsuccessful movie releases, while earnings for the first half were down sharply from a year earlier.

MGM said the second-quarter loss compared with earnings of $3.6 million (11 cents a share) a year ago. Operating revenues climbed to $190.4 million from $62.9 million.

The first-half profit was $4.8 million (10 cents a share) on revenues of $398.78 million. Those results included profits from United Artists Corp., which was acquired by MGM last July. That compared with earnings of $9.25 million (28 cents) on operating revenues of just over $114 million in the previous first half.

MGM said its second-quarter losses were due to poor box-office returns for films late last year, including "Cannery Row," "Pennies from Heaven" and "Buddy Buddy."

Meantime, the company announced that effective next Monday it will change its name to MGM-UA Entertainment Co.

Lukens Steel Co. reported net earnings of $958,000 (18 cents a share) on sales of $87.1 million in the 12-week period ended March 20. That compares with earnings of $1.5 million (29 cents) on sales of $91.3 million a year earlier.

"Cost controls, including personnel reductions, and sustained high levels of productivity plant-wide enabled us to achieve these earnings in a depressed first quarter," W.R. Wilson, president and chief executive officer, said.