* Third-quarter EPS $1.12 versus $1.06 estimate
* Sales down 2 percent to $4.5 bln
* Sees 2012 EPS $4.06 to $4.14
NEW YORK, Oct 23 Illinois Tool Works Inc
reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by lower
costs, favorable raw material prices and stronger demand in
North America, but said international markets were 'sluggish'
and trimmed its forecast.
On Tuesday it reported net earnings of $524 million, or
$1.12 per share, compared with $507 million, or $1.04 per share,
a year earlier.
The results were 6 cents higher than expected, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales dipped 2 percent to $4.50 billion, hurt by a stronger
dollar, and were below Wall Street estimates of $4.58 billion.
The diversified manufacturer of construction materials,
welding equipment and restaurant supplies trimmed its 2012
forecast for profit from continuing operations to a range of
$4.06 to $4.14 a share, from its earlier range of $4.03 to
Wall Street estimates were at $4.12 a share.