NEW YORK - General Electric's first quarter results were dragged down by deteriorating economic conditions in Europe, highlighting the danger that the region's struggles still pose to the global economy. GE CEO Jeff Immelt said he expected results in Europe to be bad in the quarter - and they were worse. Revenue from the region fell 17 percent compared with last year.
"We planned for Europe to be similar to 2012, down again, but it was even weaker than we expected," Immelt said in a call with investors.
While GE's results were roughly what analysts expected and Immelt said the company remained on track to meet its financial goals for the year, his gloomy comments about Europe and the weak performance of the company's core industrial operations sent GE shares tumbling.
GE shares dropped 87 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $21.80 in afternoon trading Friday.