Ingersoll-Rand 4Q Profit Disappoints Despite 55% Increase

Helped by stronger volumes and improved productivity, Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE:IR) revealed on Wednesday a 52% increase in fourth-quarter earnings, though investors still booed the worse-than-expected results, pushing its shares lower.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company posted net income of $212.1 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $139.4 million, or 42 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, falling narrowly short of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of 65 cents.

Revenue for the maker of a wide variety of industrial and commercial products, from refrigerators and air conditioners to electric locks and tools, was $3.7 billion, up 13% from $3.28 billion a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $3.58 billion.

Earnings were fueled by stronger volume and gross productivity, as well as a 10% increase in orders, led by upswings in industrial, commercial and residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Sales grew 13% in both the U.S. and Asia, partially offset by higher inflation.

“During the fourth quarter we made additional progress toward reaching our long-term revenue growth and earnings objectives,” said Ingersoll-Rand CEO Michael W. Lamach. “In 2010 we continued to build a productivity-driven culture by integrating our business activities and improving our cost structures and overall efficiency.”

The diversified manufacturer anticipates 2011 earnings in the range of $2.90 to $3.10 a share on revenues between $15 billion and $15.3 billion. Analysts are expecting earnings of $3.07 a share on revenue of $14.94 billion.