* Third-quarter adjusted earnings $0.44, beat estimates by 5
* Sales up 8 pct to $555.9 mln
* CEO sees market share gains among European automakers
* Shares up 1.6 pct
By Nick Zieminski
Nov 2 ITT Corp reported
stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales on Friday,
helped by U.S. industrial demand and sales to energy markets in
emerging economies, lif ting its shares 1.6 percent to their
highest level since May.
The maker of specialty components for energy, transportation
and manufacturing said it had earned $73.0 million, or 78 cents
per share, in the third quarter, compared with $108.5 million,
or $1.17 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, ITT earned 44 cents a share, 5
cents above Wall Street expectations, according to Thomson
Sales rose 8 percent to $555.9 million, also beating
ITT - which spun off its defense unit ITT Exelis and
water b usiness X ylem l ast year - said sales to e nergy
an d mining markets in emerging countries helped lift industrial
process sales by 27 percent. The division, ITT's biggest, makes
valves and pumps, and the company announced an acquisition last
month to expand in this area.
ITT's auto and rail business profits rose even though the
strong dollar eroded any sales gains. European car manufacturers
are curtailing output but ITT believes its brake pads are taking
market share, Chief Executive Denise Ramos said in an interview.
"We've been seeing the softness others have been seeing.
Europe is weak," she said. "We're able to offset that somewhat
due to share gains."
ITT rivals include Federal-Mogul, Honeywell
< HON.N>, a nd Japan's A kebono < 7 238.T> . Customers include
Germany's BMW <B MWG.DE>, Daimler <D AIGn.DE>, Audi <N SUG.DE> a nd
Volkswagen <VO WG_p.DE>, a s well as Ford <F. N> an d Fiat <FI A.MI>.
The company is building a brake pad manufacturing and
research facility in China, Ramos said. Overall, emerging
markets account for more than a quarter of company sales.
The White Plains, New York-based company kept its full-year
profit forecast unchanged at the midpoint while narrowing the
range to between $1.64 and $1.70 per share. IT T closed its
headquarters for two days during this week's storm and delayed
its earnings release.
Ramos, who lived in California for 20 years, said she has
never felt a building sway as intensely as her high-rise did
during the storm.
"An earthquake jolts and sways for a couple of seconds. This
lasted much more than a couple of seconds," she said.