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General Electric shares fall 1% after earnings beat Street's expectations

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

General Electric shares seesawed Friday after the industrial giant posted first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street's expectations.

GE reported earnings of 21 cents a share on revenue of $27.66 billion. Analysts expected profit of 17 cents a share on revenue of $26.4 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

The stock was up nearly 1 percent in the premarket immediately after the announcement, then turned negative. The stock closed 2 percent lower on Friday.

The reported revenue represents a 1 percent decline from a year earlier, hurt by lower sales in its oil and gas and lighting businesses. Earnings per share were flat.

However, earnings from continuing operations attributable to GE shareholders rose to $858 million, from $248 million a year earlier.

The company said quarterly orders were up 10 percent to $25.7 billion.

Jeff Immelt , chairman and CEO of GE, said the company's deal with Baker Hughes remains on track. Late last year, Immelt said the move to combine GE's oil and gas business with Baker Hughes would provide the opportunity to achieve significant savings through synergies while giving shareholders in both companies upside.

"We expect the deal to close in mid-2017," Immelt said in a statement Friday.

"We are executing a $2 billion cost out program over 2017 and 2018 to deliver more value to our customers, shareowners, and employees," he added.

Jack De Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory, told CNBC on Friday the company's earnings release was "a great report."

"Jeff at the end of the day is going to be viewed as a guy who stepped into a really difficult situation and spent his career fixing it," he said on " Squawk Box ."

Last month, shares of GE rose after a report said Immelt is being " pushed into early retirement ."

— Reuters contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Harbor Advisory owns shares of GE for most clients.