Rockwell Automation cuts 2012 profit forecast
(Reuters) - Rockwell Automation Inc (ROK.N) cut its profit forecast for the remainder of fiscal 2012 on Wednesday, saying slower growth in Latin America and emerging Asian markets, as well as the strong dollar, would take a toll on sales.
The U.S. maker of systems that help factories run more smoothly said it now expects full-year earnings of $5.00 to $5.20 per share, or a 5 percent to 9 percent increase from the previous year. At its midpoint, the outlook is 15 cents below Rockwell's previous forecast.
"Most economic indicators have weakened from a quarter ago and the global political environment remains unsettled," Chief Executive Keith Nosbusch said in a statement released by Rockwell.
The Milwaukee-based company's sales and earnings growth has slowed this year as Europe's woes and a cooling Chinese economy have led its big industrial customers to temper their capital spending plans. Weak corporate confidence has also taken a toll on suppliers of electronics and shipping services, with companies ranging from United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) to AT&T Inc (T.N) lowering their growth forecasts.
Rockwell said it now expects sales to reach $6.2 billion in its 2012 fiscal year, which ends in September, below its most recent forecast of $6.25 billion to $6.45 billion.
Net income for its third fiscal quarter, ended June 30, rose to $190.7 million, or $1.33 per share, from $178.8 million, or $1.22 per share, a year earlier.
The earnings per share beat the average Wall Street forecast by 2 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 3 percent to $1.56 billion, just below forecasts of $1.6 billion. Factoring out exchange-rate fluctuations, revenue would have been up 7 percent; the strong dollar diminishes the value of sales made outside the United States.
Rockwell's rivals include Emerson Electric Co (EMR.N), Germany's Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE) and Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Corp (6503.T).
Rockwell shares have lost about 10 percent of their value so far this year, at a time when the Standard & Poor's capital goods industry index .GSPIC is up 4 percent.
(Reporting by Nick Zieminski in New York and Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)
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