UPDATE 2-Manufacturer Eaton's orders pick up, shares rise

Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:26pm EDT

By Mridhula Raghavan

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Eaton Corp said it expects its markets to grow between 3 and 4 percent in 2014 after the electrical and hydraulics systems maker reported strong third-quarter bookings that continued into October.

Shares of the diversified manufacturer rose as much as 6 percent in afternoon trading even as the company cut its market growth forecast for this year.

"A positive Europe, a slowly growing US, a strong Latin America, and a stabilizing Asia is a lot better than what we looked at in 2013," Chief Executive Alexander Cutler said of the coming year in a post-earnings call.

Cutler said he was positive that current orders bode well for the fourth quarter and the first half of next year.

"It's not too far off from where the Street is now," Jefferies & Co analyst Steve Volkmann said.

"I think it is a reasonable start. It is a little conservative, because the order activity that they just reported is above those levels."

Bookings at three of its businesses - electrical products and systems and services, hydraulics and aerospace - were up in the third quarter.

OUTLOOK CUT

Eaton cut the top end of its full-year profit forecast by 10 cents, citing weakness in the heavy-duty truck and hydraulic systems markets.

The company, whose products range from truck transmissions to aircraft fuel systems, said it expects its markets to be flat in 2013, compared with its previous estimate of a 1 percent growth.

Eaton said it expects an adjusted full-year profit of between $4.05 and $4.15 per share, down from its previous forecast of $4.05-$4.25 per share. Analysts had expected $4.18 per share.

The company's shares have gained almost 49 percent in the last 12 months, outperforming the larger S&P 500 index's 20 percent gain in the same period.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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