Eaton Corp profit beats Wall Street forecasts

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Diversified U.S. manufacturer Eaton Corp <ETN.N> posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday amid a recovery in auto and truck markets, and raised its forecast for the full year.

The maker of truck transmissions, hydraulics and electrical products said net earnings jumped 85 percent to $287 million, or 83 cents per share, from $155 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier.

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Excluding charges from acquisitions, Eaton earned 84 cents a share, 4 cents above the analysts' average forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 23 percent to $3.8 billion, above Wall Street forecasts of $3.65 billion. A weaker dollar and acquisitions each added 2 percentage points to the sales growth.

Industrial markets are recovering, driving demand for electrical products, and non-residential construction should begin recovering in coming months, the company said. Auto and truck markets are accelerating, led by the United States. Profits almost doubled in Eaton's truck segment.

Eaton forecast a 2011 operating profit of $3.70 to $4.00 per share. Its earlier forecast, counting a stock split, was for a profit of $3.50 to $3.80 a share.

Its overall markets will grow 10 percent this year, Eaton said, up from its earlier estimate of 8 percent growth.

Eaton, which makes power systems for data centers, hydraulics used in machinery, and components of cars and trucks, has benefited from a rebounding industrial economy and strong demand from markets such as China. It has said all six of its markets will grow this year for the first time since 2006.

Eaton, which raised its dividend this year and split its stock 2-for-1, has been on an acquisition spree, aimed partly at expanding in emerging markets. So far this year, it has bought a filtration systems maker, an electrical company in South Africa, and sources say it is in talks to buy a unit of big Indian engineering company Larsen & Toubro.

Eaton's chief Sandy Cutler said this month he expects sales to India to triple to $500 million by 2015.

(Reporting by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Maureen Bavdek)

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