April 14, 2008 10:50 AM, EDT

Eaton’s 1Q Profit Gains; Trucking Segment Lags

Heavy-duty vehicle parts manufacturer Eaton Corp.’s first-quarter net earnings rose 5.6%, led by international sales, though its truck segment’s sales declined, the company said Monday.
Eaton’s profit rose to $247 million or $1.64 per share, from $234 million, or $1.56, a year earlier. Revenue rose 12% to $3.5 billion, the company said in a statement.

Its truck segment’s sales dipped 2% to $567 million. Truck markets in the first quarter were down 9%, with U.S. markets down 24% and non-U.S. markets up 17%, Eaton said. Truck operating profits fell 21% from a year ago, to $85 million.

“First quarter production of [North American Free Trade Agreement] heavy-duty trucks totaled 49,000 units, just slightly ahead of production in the fourth quarter of 2007 but still down 34% from the first quarter of 2007,” said Chief Executive Officer Alexander Cutler.

“We expect modest growth in second quarter production, and for 2008 as a whole, we now estimate the NAFTA heavy-duty market to total 230,000 units. This compares to our original expectation of 240,000 units,” he said in a statement.