SPX CEO sees return to growth in 2011
CHICAGO (Reuters) - SPX Corp (SPW.N), which is braced for a 2010 profit drop of up to 23 percent, expects to resume growth in 2011 as the aging U.S. electric grid and emerging-market recovery spurs demand for its products.
"If we could see a bottoming and positive sign toward recovery by the end of 2010 moving toward 2011 we'll feel like we are on the path that we thought we would be on," Chris Kearney, chief executive of the diversified U.S. manufacturer, said on Tuesday. "We think our business is a 2011 recovery story."
SPX, which makes products ranging from cooling towers for electric power plants to fluid-handling gear used by food and beverage producers, expects demand in emerging markets, particularly China, to drive its recovery.
"We expect we will see recovery in our businesses and we expect that we will see continued growth in the important developing markets in the country and I think the United States follows that and I think Europe follows that," Kearney said at the Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit in Chicago.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company last week reported first-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates and raised the low end of its 2010 profit forecast, though it still looks for overall earnings to decline by 15 to 23 percent this year.
Analysts, on average, look for 2011 earnings of $4.40 per share, which would represent growth of roughly 40 percent from the company's 2010 forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
SPX has cut its staff some 15 percent -- eliminating 2,500 jobs -- since the start of the recession and is unlikely to replace that headcount any time soon, Kearney said.
(Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by Matthew Lewis)