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* Profits fall 96 percent
* Sales fall 30 percent
* No improvement seen in '09
CHICAGO, April 28 (Reuters) - Cummins Inc (CMI.N) said on Thursday that its earnings in the latest quarter fell 96 percent as the worldwide recession hit sales of its diesel engines and components.
The company also offered a bleak near-term outlook, saying, "We do not see the economy or our markets improving for the remainder of 2009."
Cummins reported a first-quarter profit of $7 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with $190 million, or 97 cents a share, last year.
Sales fell 30 percent to $2.44 billion.
Stripping out $66 million in charges associated with layoffs and other restructuring actions, Cummins said it made $51 million, or 26 cents a share.
On that basis, analysts, on average, expected the company to report a profit of 25 cents a share on sales of $2.64 billion, according to Reuters Estimates. (Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Brian Moss)