Normally a reliable producer for its shareholders, GE's failure to hit its own projected earnings marks in the first quarter this year sent a ripple through Wall Street and underscored that even the world's largest companies are struggling with the weakened economy. The announcement came a day after reports surfaced that the international conglomerate was shopping its 101-year-old appliance business for as much as $8 billion. Last year, it sold its struggling plastics business to to a Saudi company for $11.6 billion. While GE has worked in recent years to shed underperforming products, Thursday's deal with Mesa Power was in line with its strategy to grow its renewable investment business. GE set a goal of investing $6 billion in renewable energy by 2010, increasing its investment by 50 percent. "As America's demand for energy escalates, it is clear that wind can and will play a bigger part in meeting that need," said Jeffrey R. Immelt, GE Chairman and CEO. "We're excited to partner with an energy visionary like T. Boone Pickens to bring our wind technology to the marketplace." GE stock was trading Thursday afternoon at $32.28, down 23 cents. ___ AP Business Writer Adam Schreck in New York contributed to this report.