NEW YORK - General Electric Co.'s first-quarter net income topped Wall Street expectations on a strong performance from the conglomerate's industrial businesses.

GE said Friday that net income fell 12 percent to $3.03 billion, or 29 cents per share. That compares with $3.4 billion, or 31 cents per share, for the same part of 2011.

Excluding charges, GE earned 34 cents in the quarter, a penny better than Wall Street estimates.

The industrial and financial giant said its primary manufacturing operation has rebounded after posting weak results following the global recession. Operating profit at its industrial businesses, which include transportation, health care and energy infrastructure, rose by 10 percent on a 14 percent gain in revenue.


That's an improvement from 2011, when GE was able to grow revenue in the industrial segment but operating profit remained flat.

The Fairfield, Conn., company has a stake in almost every sector of the economy.

Revenue slipped by 8 percent to $35.2 billion.