Financial unit weighs on GE; profit plunges 44 percent

general electric
general electric

The continued woes at General Electric's (GE) big financial unit fueled a big drop in its third-quarter earnings, outweighing signs of improvement in its divisions that make heavy machinery and other industrial equipment, the company said Friday.

GE posted a 44-percent decline in profit to $2.4 billion, or 23 cents per share, hurt by much lower earnings at its GE Capital arm, which loans money to businesses ranging from credit cards to shopping centers.