Illinois Tool cuts profit estimate, shares fall

CHICAGO Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:13am EST

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Diversified manufacturer Illinois Tool Works Inc (ITW.N) said on Monday it cut its fourth-quarter earnings estimate due to weakness in North American end markets, sending its shares down 4 percent in pre-market trading.

The Glenview, Illinois-based company said it now expects to earn 82 cents to 86 cents a share for the October-December quarter, and $3.32 to $3.36 a share for the full year.

It previously forecast 86 cents to 90 cents a share for the fourth quarter and $3.36 to $3.40 a share for the year.

"During the past three months, the company has seen continuing weakness in North American end markets and, as a result, lower-than-expected base revenues and operating margins," Illinois Tool Works said in a statement.

The company, which makes fasteners, food-service and welding equipment, countertop materials and other products, also said operating revenue rose 16.6 percent in the three months ended November 30, thanks largely to acquisitions and strength in international markets.

In light pre-market trading, Illinois Tool Works shares were at $53.50, down from a Friday close at $55.90 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Nick Carey; editing by John Wallace)

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