Glenview, IL - Illinois Tool Works Inc. reported first quarter 2014 diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations of $1.01, 15% higher than the prior year period. The stronger-than-expected EPS was driven by meaningful contributions from ongoing enterprise initiatives and accelerated share repurchase.
Key highlights for the 2014 first quarter financial results versus the year-ago period include:
Total revenues grew 4 percent to $3.6 billion and operating income increased 16 percent to $667 million. Organic revenues increased 3.3 percent, with international growing 6.3 percent and North America increasing 1.0 percent. Internationally, European and Asia Pacific organic revenues grew 4.8 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.
EPS of $1.01 was 15 percent higher than the prior-year period.
Operating margins of 18.7 percent increased 180 basis points, with enterprise initiatives contributing 120 basis points.
First quarter segment highlights versus the year-ago period include:
- Automotive OEM organic revenue growth of 13 percent significantly outpaced worldwide auto builds of 5 percent. Organic revenues grew 11 percent in North America, 14 percent in Europe and 28 percent in China. Operating margins of 23.3 percent increased 350 basis points.
- Food Equipment's organic revenues grew 5 percent due to solid growth in equipment and service in North America and strong equipment sales internationally. Operating margins of 18.6 percent increased 190 basis points.
- Construction Products' organic revenues grew 5 percent due to 14 percent growth in Asia Pacific and 1 percent growth in Europe. In the United States, organic revenues grew 7 percent in the residential category, while the renovation category was flat and the commercial construction category declined 8 percent. Operating margins of 14.8 percent increased 310 basis points.
"Underlying our strong first quarter financial results is our ongoing five-year enterprise strategy and related initiatives," said Scott Santi, president and chief executive officer. "Thanks to the worldwide ITW team, we produced operating margins of nearly 19 percent, grew our EPS 15 percent and expanded adjusted after-tax ROIC to more than 17 percent in the quarter. Finally, we continued to focus on capital allocation during the quarter by returning significant amounts of free cash to our investors in the form of accelerated share repurchase and consistent dividend payout."
Looking forward, the Company is raising its full-year EPS guidance to a range of $4.45 to $4.65, with the $4.55 mid-point representing a 25 percent increase versus 2013. The 15 cents guidance increase at the mid-point is driven by the accelerated share repurchase program as well as continued contributions from enterprise initiatives. Total revenue is expected to grow in the range of 3 percent to 4 percent. For the 2014 second quarter, the Company is forecasting EPS to be in a range of $1.16 to $1.24 and expects total revenue growth in a range of 3 percent to 5 percent.