GE rallied 3% to $23.26 and Comcast advanced 7.8% to $42. The cable company will buy GE’s 49% stake in NBC Universal, following through on its purchase of a controlling stake two years ago.
The sale will result in a pretax gain of about $1 billion for GE and it will use proceeds to help increase repurchases of its shares by $10 billion a year, the Fairfield, Connecticut- based company said.
Comcast also released its fourth-quarter results, saying net income rose 18% to $1.52 billion, or 56 cents a share, from $1.29 billion, or 47 cents, a year earlier. Sales climbed almost 6% to $15.9 billion.
Western Union fell 2.4% to $13.99 as the world’s biggest money-transfer business said it expects “low single digit” revenue declines in 2013. Fourth-quarter net income plunged 47% to $237.9 million, or 40 cents a share. The average estimate of 28 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for profit of 35 cents.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. lost 13% to $31.90. The biggest U.S. iron-ore producer cut its quarterly dividend by 76% after the price of the commodity declined and a Canadian mining project was delayed.