Eaton posts solid gains in first quarter, offers brighter outlook

Eaton Corp., Cleveland, reported an 8 percent increase in net income and record sales for the first quarter. Sales in the quarter were a first quarter record of $4.0 billion, 4 percent above the same period in 2011. Net income was $311 million, up 8 percent over the first quarter of 2011.

The Americas provided the juice for Eaton's electrical business, overcoming stagnation in the rest of the world. Sales for the Electrical Americas segment were $1.1 billion, up 13 percent over 2011. Operating profits were $162 million. Excluding acquisition integration charges of $1 million during the quarter, operating profits were $163 million, up 21 percent over the first quarter of 2011.

"End markets for our Electrical Americas segment grew 7 percent in the first quarter," said Eaton Chairman and CEO Sandy Cutler. "We saw strong growth particularly in the nonresidential construction markets.

"Our bookings in the Electrical Americas segment were up 6 percent over the first quarter a year ago," he added. "We now estimate that growth in 2012 for the Electrical Americas markets will be 6 percent, up 1 percent over our prior estimate."

Sales for the Electrical Rest of World segment were $651 million, down 12 percent from the first quarter of 2011.

"We entered 2012 expecting it would be a year of subpar global economic growth, leading to approximately 5 percent growth in our markets," said Cutler. "We continue to believe that for the full year markets will grow 5 percent, but we now believe the rate of growth in our U.S. markets will be higher than originally expected and the rate of growth in our non-U.S. markets will be lower than originally expected." Details

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