Manufacturer Eaton's first-quarter profit tops estimate

Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:40am EDT

(Reuters) - Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp (ETN.N) posted a rise in first-quarter profit that just topped analysts' estimates on Tuesday, helped by lower-than-expected costs, but forecast second-quarter earnings that appeared to lag Wall Street's target.

Eaton, a maker of electrical and hydraulic systems, backed its full-year profit forecast.

First-quarter net income rose 16 percent to $439 million, or 92 cents per share, from $378 million, or 79 cents, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were $1.01 per share. That topped the average analyst estimate by a penny, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Severe winter storms in North America hurt Eaton earnings by an estimated 3 cents per share, the company said.

Revenue rose 3.4 percent to $5.49 billion, in line with expectations.

Eaton said corporate expenses were lower than it had expected for the first quarter, helping earnings.

Eaton projected second-quarter operating earnings, excluding charges to integrate recent acquisitions, in a range of $1.05 to $1.15 per share. Analysts estimated $1.29 per share.

Eaton expects to incur 8 cents per share in restructuring costs in the second quarter, while seeing a higher tax rate and corporate expenses than in the first quarter.

The company backed its 2014 forecast of operating earnings in a range of $4.50 to $4.90 per share. Analysts estimated $4.81.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, Editing by Franklin Paul and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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