General Electric quarterly earnings topped Wall Street's estimate today as its business of selling power-generating turbines drove a 9% increase in industrial profit despite weak sales in its oil and gas unit. 

The US conglomerate said its fourth-quarter net income rose 61% to $5.15 billion, or 51 cents per share, from a year earlier. 

Excluding pension-related costs, earnings of 56 cents per share were 1 cent ahead of the analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Quarterly revenues rose 4% to $42 billion. 

GE's organic industrial revenue, which excludes the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations and deals, rose 9% in the three month period. 

Sales in the power and water unit, which sells a variety of turbines and is GE's biggest industrial segment, rose 22%, while the aviation division's sales increased 4%. 

Revenue at the oil and gas division slumped 6%, although it was flat on an organic basis. Orders at the unit, which sells oil and gas equipment and services, fell 4% on an organic basis.

Investors have been concerned about flagging oil prices, which could lead the unit's customers to slash spending.