* Q4 EPS adj $0.29 vs est $0.12
* Sales fall 31 pct
* Says Q4 orders up 37 pct sequentially
* Shares rise as much as 8 pct (Recasts; Adds details, updates share movement)
Feb 24 (Reuters) - Engineered equipment maker Chart Industries Inc (GTLS.O) posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit helped by higher margins and said it is seeing a rise in order activity, sending its shares up 7 percent.
Improving availability of finance and customer confidence in the strength of the economic recovery will continue to drive order activity going forward, a company executive said on a conference call with analysts.
Orders in the fourth quarter rose 37 percent sequentially to $125.2 million, the company said.
Chart Industries derived 46 percent of fourth-quarter revenue from its distribution and storage segment (D&S), and 34 percent from the energy and chemicals (E&C) segment. The rest came from the biomedical segment.
The D&S order increase was led by strong liquefied natural gas-related orders for vehicle fueling applications and strong demand in China, Chief Executive Sam Thomas said in a statement.
For the fourth quarter, net income was $15.5 million or 53 cents a share, compared with $21.7 million, or 75 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue fell 31 percent to $128.9 million. Energy and chemicals sales declined 46 percent, while distribution and storage sales dropped 30 percent.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 12 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $129.3 million.
Gross profit for the latest fourth quarter was 34 percent of sales, compared with or 31 percent last year.
For 2010, the company sees adjusted earnings of 60 cents to 80 cents a share, on sales of $530 million to $560 million.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 82 cents per share, on revenue of $563.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of the company were trading up 7 percent at $18.43 late Wednesday morning on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Divya Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)