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Stocks to Watch: GE, IBM, Dell, McDonald's

Joseph Woelfel

NEW YORK -- General Electric is expected by analysts on Friday to post first-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue of $34.63 billion.

The industrial conglomerate earned 34 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter.

GE's Messy First Quarter: What to Expect

IBM missed Wall Street's top- and bottom-line estimates in its first-quarter results as a weak Japanese yen weighed down profits.

The tech giant reported revenue of $23.4 billion, down from $24.7 billion for the same period a year ago, and trailed Wall Street's forecast of $24.6 billion. Excluding items, IBM earned $3 a share, up from $2.78 a share in the prior year's quarter. Analysts were looking for earnings of $3.05 a share.

IBM Slides as Weak Yen Crimps Earnings

Blackstone ended its pursuit of Dell , three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The move by Blackstone eases the way for founder Michael Dell and his private-equity partner Silver Lake to take Dell private in a $24.4 billion deal.

Google's first-quarter earnings beat estimates, coming in well above expectations.

The Internet giant reported on Thursday earnings of $11.58 a share on revenue of $13.97 billion.. Analysts were expecting profit of $10.66 a share on $14.09 billion in revenue.

Excluding traffic acquisition costs (TAC), revenue was $11.01 billion, as TAC accounted for 25% of advertising revenue. Other revenue from Google, including Nexus hardware, was $1.05 billion, up 150% year over year.

Google Rises on Earnings Beat

Microsoft , the software giant, booked a double-digit jump in fiscal third-quarter earnings following a surge in sales at its Windows division.

The company also said Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein will be leaving Microsoft at the end of the current fiscal year, after nearly four years in the role and 11 years at the company. Microsoft will be naming a new CFO from its finance leadership team in the next several weeks.

Microsoft Tops Estimates, CFO Steps Down

Hamburger chain McDonald's is expected by Wall Street on Friday to post first-quarter earnings of $1.27 a share on revenue of $6.59 billion.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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