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Emerson Earnings Up

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Emerson Electric

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Diversified manufacturing and technology company Emerson Electric Co. said Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings grew to surpass Wall Street’s expectations, but revenue was slightly below analyst estimates and the company said material costs remained high.

The company earned $761 million, or $1.01 per share, for the July-September period, up 2 percent from $749 million, or 98 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations were 98 cents per share in the latest quarter, up from 75 cents a year earlier.

Revenue grew 12 percent to $6.55 billion from $5.84 billion.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 96 cents per share on revenue of $6.59 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

Emerson supplies technology and engineering services, making automation systems for everything from biopharmaceutical companies to chemical refineries in China. Its products range from motors for appliances to power tools.

The company said its profitability improved in the quarter thanks to benefits from cost cuts and restructuring, reduction in acquisition costs and other items. But the company added that price increases fell short of covering higher material costs by about $10 million.

“Record profit margin during the fourth quarter was achieved despite significant headwinds,” Chairman and CEO David N. Farr said in a statement. “This level of profitability performance provides evidence of our success in repositioning Emerson in higher-margin businesses and executing through operational challenges.”

For the full year, Emerson earned $2.48 billion, or $3.27 per share. That’s up 15 percent from $2.16 billion, or $2.84 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue also grew 15 percent to $24.22 billion from $21.04 billion.

The earnings were at the higher end of Emerson’s August forecast of earnings of $3.20 to $3.30 per share. The revenue was closer to the low end of its outlook of $24.15 billion to $24.78 billion.

Analysts were expecting full-year earnings of $3.24 per share on revenue of $24.28 billion.

Separately, Emerson raised its regular quarterly dividend to 40 cents from 34.5 cents. The dividend is payable Dec. 9 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 11.

Shares fell $1.09, or 2.3 percent, to $47.03 in premarket trading Tuesday. The stock had closed down $1.49, or 3 percent, at $48.12 on Monday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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