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UPDATE 3-Emerson profit lifted by process management
August 7, 2012 / 2:00 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 3-Emerson profit lifted by process management

* Earnings $1.04/share vs Street view $1

* Revenue up 3 pct to $6.48 bln

* Trims 2012 profit forecast

* Shares up 3.2 pct

By Nick Zieminski

Aug 7 (Reuters) - Emerson Electric Co reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday, lifted by improved results in the process management business, but the industrial conglomerate trimmed its full-year earnings forecast because of slowing economies around the world.

Emerson said many consumers and businesses were losing confidence amid the European financial crisis, weaker economic growth in China, a rising dollar and looming fiscal challenges in the United States. It called business investment “tepid.”

But its reduced earnings forecast was slightly ahead of Wall Street estimates, and its shares gained 3.2 percent to $50.49 in early trading.

“Clearly the global economy has downshifted, but the companies that prepared for it are weathering the storm pretty well,” said analyst Matt Collins of Edward Jones, which has a “buy” rating on Emerson shares.

Collins said Emerson was likely to raise its dividend later on Tuesday, marking a 56th straight year of higher payouts.

Emerson, a provider of wireless networks used in oil and gas production and uninterruptible power supplies, said net earnings rose 13 percent to $770 million, or $1.04 per share, in the fiscal third quarter that ended June 30, from $683 million, or 90 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, expected $1 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 3 percent to $6.48 billion but came in below Wall Street estimates of $6.61 billion.

Emerson’s process management segment posted a 19 percent increase in revenue, lifted by demand for energy infrastructure. Earnings jumped by one-third in that business, which makes control systems and software to run plants in process industries such as energy, food and beverage and water treatment.

The profit gains reflected higher sales and recent cost cuts, and Emerson said the unit’s outlook was favorable for the next several quarters.

The St. Louis-based company, which also makes industrial automation systems and heating and cooling technology, said global economies were slowing and business investment was expected to remain “tepid.”

It cut its full-year earnings forecast to a range of $3.35 to $3.40 a share, compared with a May forecast of $3.35 to $3.50.

Analyst estimates, which have come down in recent weeks, average $3.34 a share.

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