General Electric Co. reported its first decline in quarterly profit since 2003, missing analyst estimates with a 12 percent drop in earnings as a freeze-up in credit markets blocked asset sales and forced it to write down the value of investments.
The world's third-largest company by market value fell as much as 11 percent, the most since 1987, in early New York trading after GE also cut the full-year forecast that Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt had once told sharesholders was ``in the bag'' for 2008.
``We hate disappointing investors,'' Immelt said in an interview on the company-owned CNBC television network. ``It's not part of the company. It's not part of the culture. We take accountability for that.''