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* Q1 EPS $0.63 vs est. $0.52/shr
* Q1 rev up 9 pct
* Shares rise to year-high (Adds conference call comments, updates share movement)
April 20 (Reuters) - Tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc (SNA.N) reported better-than-expected first quarter results, helped by a 15 percent rise in its commercial and industrial group revenue, sending its shares up 8 percent to a new year-high.
Snap-on said it is 'encouraged' by trends seen in markets and businesses, but challenges remain due to ongoing difficulties in the global economy.
"The quarter provides evidence that our overall markets have stabilized and are showing some signs of upward potential, but ... they're not yet clearly rebounding," Chief Executive Nick Pinchuk said on a conference call.
Snap-on makes hand and power tools and provides services including tool storage, diagnostics software and information and management systems for customers in industrials, government, agriculture, aviation and natural resources.
For the first quarter, the company reported net income of $36.8 million, or 63 cents a share, compared with $34.8 million, or 60 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 9 percent to $621.6 million.
Commercial and industrial group segment sales rose to $297.5 million, helped by growth in emerging markets, higher volumes of equipment and increased sales to industrial customers.
Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 52 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $585.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The U.S. automotive toolmaker continues to expect capital expenditures in 2010 to be in a range of $55 million to $60 million, of which $5.7 million was incurred in the first quarter.
For full-year 2010, the company sees to incur restructuring costs of about $18 million to $22 million.
Snap-on shares were trading up 8 percent at $48.34 Tuesday. They had earlier touched a high of $48.54. (Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty and Fareha Khan in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan and Don Sebastian)