Illinois Tool Works Sees 4Q Profit Fall

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Tool Works Inc. said Monday that its fourth-quarter profit fell compared to the year-earlier period, when the company benefitted from a tax adjustment, but that its revenue rose 11 percent to beat Wall Street expectations. The Glenview, Ill.-based company manufactures tools used in the automotive, industrial packaging, power systems and electronics, transportation, construction, food processing and decorative surfaces markets.

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Tool Works Inc. said Monday that its fourth-quarter profit fell compared to the year-earlier period, when the company benefitted from a tax adjustment, but that its revenue rose 11 percent to beat Wall Street expectations.

The Glenview, Ill.-based company manufactures tools used in the automotive, industrial packaging, power systems and electronics, transportation, construction, food processing and decorative surfaces markets. It employs more than 60,000 people in 52 countries.

The company earned $392.8 million, or 79 cents per share, during the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a year-earlier profit of $507.4 million, or $1.01 per share.

Illinois Tool Works said in the fourth quarter of 2009 it recorded a favorable tax adjustment that boosted earnings per share by 37 cents. Not counting that year-ago credit, the company said its net income from continuing operations in the most recent quarter would have been 30 percent higher than it was a year earlier.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of 80 cents per share. Analysts typically exclude such one-time items from their estimates.

Revenue rose to $4.17 billion from $3.76 billion, surpassing the $4.12 billion that analysts had forecast.

Throughout the fourth quarter and the full year, revenue in North America and international markets grew at comparable rates. Sales grew across the company's various divisions, with the PC board fabrication business growing the fastest at a rate 48.9 percent in the quarter. The power systems and electronics segment also grew substantially on a 22.8 percent boost in sales.

For the full year, the company earned $1.53 billion, or $3.03 per share. That compares with earnings of $947 million, or $1.89 per share, in 2009.

Revenue rose to $15.87 billion from $13.88 billion.

Illinois Tool Works also said Monday that it will now report both its North American and international results on a calendar-year basis. Previously, it reported international results in a fiscal year ending in November.

Based on this updated fiscal calendar, the company expects to earn between 81 cents and 87 cents per share during the first quarter on revenue growth of 12 percent to 15 percent. That translates to revenue between $4.04 billion and $4.15 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect first-quarter earnings of 75 cents per share on $4.05 billion in revenue.

For the full year, Illinois Tool Works expects earnings from continuing operations between $3.60 and $3.84 per share on revenue growth between 11.5 percent and 14.5 percent. That would mean revenue between $17.7 billion and $18.17 billion.

Analysts expect 2011 earnings per share of $3.69 on $17.49 billion in revenue.

Shares of Illinois Tool Works fell 58 cents to $54.13 during midday trading on Monday.

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