Power management company Eaton Corporation plc (NYSE:ETN) today announced that operating earnings per share, which exclude charges of $0.02 per share to integrate recent acquisitions, were $1.01 for the first quarter of 2015, the same as the first quarter of 2014. Sales in the first quarter of 2015 were $5.2 billion, 5 percent lower than the same period in 2014. Operating earnings for the first quarter of 2015, excluding pre-tax charges of $11 million to integrate recent acquisitions, were $473 million.
Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Our first quarter results are a solid start to the year, coming in slightly above the midpoint of our guidance despite the impact from additional negative currency translation.
“Our 5 percent sales decline in the first quarter consisted of 1 percent organic growth offset by negative 6 percent from currency translation,” said Cutler. “Our operating earnings per share were flat with the first quarter of 2014, driven by a 9 cent negative impact from lower currency translation and a higher tax rate. Without this impact, our first quarter 2015 operating earnings per share would have grown by 9 percent.
“We returned substantial cash to our shareholders during the quarter,” said Cutler. “We raised our quarterly dividend by 12 percent and repurchased $170 million of our shares.
“As a result of weaker conditions in some of our markets, we now anticipate our organic revenue growth in 2015 will be between 2 and 3 percent, 1 percent lower than our earlier estimate,” said Cutler. “In addition, most currencies have declined against the U.S. dollar by more than we anticipated at the start of the year. As a result, we now expect the impact of negative currency translation to be 5 percent, 1 percent higher than our earlier expectation.
“We anticipate operating earnings per share for the second quarter of 2015, which exclude an estimated $16 million of pre-tax charges to integrate our recent acquisitions, to be between $1.10 and $1.20,” said Cutler. “In light of a larger impact from negative currency translation and lower growth in our end markets, we are slightly reducing our guidance for full year 2015 operating earnings per share to between $4.65 and $4.95, a reduction of 2 percent.”
Business Segment Results
Sales for the Electrical Products segment were $1.7 billion, down 2 percent from 2014. Organic sales grew 4 percent, offset by a 6 percent decline from currency translation. Operating profits were $260 million. Excluding acquisition integration charges of $6 million during the quarter, operating profits were $266 million, down 5 percent from the first quarter of 2014.
“Our bookings in the first quarter in the Electrical Products segment were up 5 percent over the first quarter a year ago,” said Cutler. “March bookings were particularly strong, registering an increase of 12 percent.”
Sales for the Electrical Systems and Services segment were $1.4 billion, down 5 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Organic sales were down 1 percent and currency translation was negative 4 percent. The segment reported operating profits of $186 million. Excluding acquisition integration charges of $3 million during the quarter, operating profits were $189 million, down 3 percent from the first quarter of 2014.
“As we had expected, organic sales were slightly lower in the first quarter, reflecting the softness we saw in bookings during the second half of 2014,” said Cutler. “Bookings in the
first quarter were flat with the first quarter of 2014. March orders showed a significant increase in activity, with bookings up 13 percent.”
Hydraulics segment sales were $665 million, down 15 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Organic sales in the quarter declined 9 percent and currency translation was negative 6 percent. Operating profits in the first quarter were $66 million. Excluding acquisition integration charges of $1 million during the quarter, operating profits were $67 million, a decline of 40 percent from the first quarter of 2014.
“The hydraulics markets in the first quarter of 2015 were down markedly, reflecting the downturns in global agricultural equipment and Chinese construction equipment,” said Cutler. “Our bookings in the quarter were down 18 percent. 2015 will be more challenging for our Hydraulics business than we had anticipated at the start of the year.”
Aerospace segment sales were $464 million, equal to the first quarter of 2014. Organic growth of 8 percent was offset by 5 percent from the two divestitures we completed in the middle of 2014 and by 3 percent from negative currency translation. Operating profits in the first quarter were $77 million, up 24 percent over the first quarter of 2014.
“Aerospace markets in the first quarter posted another quarter of good growth,” said Cutler. “Bookings in the quarter rose 1 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014.”
The Vehicle segment posted sales of $955 million, down 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014. Organic growth of 4 percent was offset by negative currency translation of 8 percent. The segment reported operating profits in the first quarter of $164 million, up 9 percent over the first quarter of 2014.
“North American truck markets were particularly strong in the quarter,” said Cutler. “We continue to expect the NAFTA Class 8 truck market in 2015 to be 330,000.”
Eaton is a power management company with 2014 sales of $22.6 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visitwww.eaton.com.
Notice of conference call: Eaton’s conference call to discuss its first quarter results is available to all interested parties as a live audio webcast today at 10 a.m. United States Eastern time via a link on the center of Eaton’s home page. This news release can be accessed under its headline on the home page. Also available on the website prior to the call will be a presentation on first quarter results, which will be covered during the call.
This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning second quarter 2015 operating earnings per share, full year 2015 operating earnings per share, 2015 organic revenue growth, and the impact on 2015 operating earnings per share from negative currency translation. These statements should be used with caution and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside the company’s control. The following factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward- looking statements: unanticipated changes in the markets for the company’s business segments; unanticipated downturns in business relationships with customers or their purchases from us; competitive pressures on sales and pricing; unanticipated changes in the cost of material and other production costs, or unexpected costs that cannot be recouped in product pricing; the introduction of competing technologies; unexpected technical or marketing difficulties; unexpected claims, charges, litigation or dispute resolutions; strikes or other labor unrest; the performance of recent acquisitions; unanticipated difficulties integrating acquisitions; new laws and governmental regulations; interest rate changes; changes in tax laws or tax regulations; stock market and currency fluctuations; and unanticipated deterioration of economic and financial conditions in the United States and around the world. We do not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
The company’s comparative financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2015 are available on the company’s website,www.eaton.com.