Ingersoll-Rand Returns to First-Quarter Profit

Earns $1.4 million in quarter after posting a loss last year

Ingersoll-Rand PLC reported a first-quarter profit April 23 on a "significant" increase in orders and said that a growing number of unfilled orders gives the company increased confidence that it will meet its profit and revenue forecasts for 2010.

The industrial company, based in Ireland, said some of its key markets are showing signs of improvement, including stationary refrigeration and its North American residential HVAC and security businesses. It boosted the lower end of its full-year earnings from continuing operations and revenue outlooks.

Ingersoll-Rand reported earnings of $1.4 million, or break-even results, for the quarter. That compares with a loss of $26.7 million, or 8 cents per share, a year ago.

Earnings from continuing operations were $11.8 million, or 4 cents per share.

Excluding a health care tax expense of 12 cents per share, profit was 16 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, whose estimates normally take out one-time items, expected earnings of 18 cents per share.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31 rose 1% to $2.95 billion from $2.93 billion. Wall Street predicted $3.02 billion.

The company's order level grew by 10% in the quarter, while its backlog increased by more than 18 percent.

Ingersoll-Rand now expects 2010 earnings from continuing operations in a range of $1.88 to $2.23, which includes the 12 cents per share health care tax expense. This is 5 cents per share above the low end of its previous guidance. The company also lifted its revenue guidance to a range of $13.6 billion to $13.8 billion, which is 1% higher than the low end of its prior outlook.

Analysts predict a profit of $2.17 per share on revenue of $13.68 billion for the year.

For the second quarter, Ingersoll-Rand expects earnings from continuing operations of 62 cents to 72 cents per share on revenue between $3.6 billion and $3.7 billion.

Wall Street anticipates a quarterly profit of 67 cents per share on revenue of $3.59 billion

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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