ITW posts higher-than-expected profit, raises outlook

April 22 Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:31am EDT

April 22 (Reuters) - Illinois Tool Works Inc posted better-than-expected results on Tuesday, and raised its full-year earnings forecast, citing strong sales of components to the auto industry.

The Glenview, Illinois-based diversified manufacturer, which makes everything from vehicle parts to food service equipment to arc welding tools, reported a profit from continuing operations of $473 million, or $1.01 a share, up from $354 million, or 88 cents a share, in the comparable period last year.

The results from continuing operations excluded income from its decorative surfaces business, which has been sold.

On that basis, analysts on average expected a profit of 98 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales grew 4 percent to $3.6 billion, the company said, driven by a 13 percent increase in sales to the global auto industry. Sales growth was especially dramatic in China, now the world's No. 1 car market, where revenue jumped 28 percent.

ITW also raised its full-year outlook, saying it now expects to earn a profit in the range of $4.45 to $4.65 a share, up from a previous range of $4.30 to $4.50 a share.

In premarket trading, ITW shares were up 2.2 percent. (Reporting by James B. Kelleher in Detroit; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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