--Eaton beats second-quarter earnings estimate
--Eaton scales back 2012 revenue, earnings forecasts
--Company says emerging market growth slowing
(Updates with more details throughout about end-markets and 2012 outlook.)
By Bob Tita
Eaton Corp.'s (ETN) second-quarter profit rose 14%, but revenue unexpectedly dropped as weakening demand from overseas markets caused the company to scale back its revenue and earnings forecasts for 2012.
The diversified manufacturer's second-quarter profit topped analysts' expectations. Improved margins and a lower tax rate offset revenue that dropped from a year earlier.
"Our revenues were impacted in the second quarter by lower-than-expected end-market growth and by lower-than-expected foreign exchange rates," said Chairman and Chief Executive Alexander Cutler in a written statement.
Mr. Cutler attributed the lower revenue to slower economic growth in China, India and Brazil, as well as uncertainty in Europe caused by the ongoing crisis over sovereign debt.
The Cleveland company now expects end-market sales this year to increase 3% to 4% over 2011, down from the 5% growth predicted in April.
The company also revised its full-year profit guidance, calling for earnings of $4.20 to $4.50 a share. Eaton in April said it expected per-share profit of $4.30 to $4.70. As a result, the midpoint of Eaton's profit range dropped to $4.35 a share from $4.50.
Eaton, which makes electrical products, truck transmissions, hydraulic systems and aerospace components, has reported a series of double-digit earnings increases over the past two years, aided by increased production volumes in construction and farm machinery and a rebound in the commercial-truck industry. Eaton's lowered expectations are likely to trigger investor anxiety about the performance of other diversified manufacturers, as well as truck makers and machinery manufacturers, such as Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Deere & Co. (DE).
Eaton's stock has fallen almost 18% in the past three months amid concerns about the outlook for manufacturing. The shares recently were up 3.l% at $40.27. Eaton in May agreed to acquire electrical products company Cooper Industries PLC (CBE) in a roughly $11.8 billion cash-and-stock deal. The deal will require approval from the two companies' shareholders.
For the quarter ended June 30, Eaton reported a profit of $382 million, or $1.12 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $336 million, or 97 cents a share. Stripping out acquisition- and integration-related costs, earnings rose to a record $1.15 a share from 97 cents a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.09 a share
Revenue edged down 0.5% to $4.1 billion, short of the $4.24 billion expected by analysts.
-Chelsea Stevenson contributed to this article.
Write to Bob Tita at firstname.lastname@example.org
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 23, 2012 10:07 ET (14:07 GMT)
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