April 16, 2007 11:00 AM, EDT

Eaton’s 1Q Profit Improves

Parts Maker Boosts Forecast but Cites Trucking Decline

Vehicle parts manufacturer Eaton Corp. said Monday that its first-quarter net earnings were $234 million or $1.56 a share, up from $208 million or $1.36 a year ago.

The earnings topped Eaton’s previous forecast of $1.30 to $1.40 per share. Revenue for the quarter rose 5.4% to $3.15 billion, Eaton said.

The company also boosted its full-year profit outlook to $6.20 to $6.40 a share, up from an earlier $6.05 to $6.25 per-share forecast. Its second quarter profit will be $1.35 to $1.45 per share, Eaton said.

The company’s truck segment posted sales of $576 million for the quarter, down 5% compared with a year ago. North American heavy-duty truck production was down 23% in the quarter, Eaton said.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alexander Cutler said the company expects a 3% to 4% decline in its end markets for 2007, primarily due to the decline in the North American heavy-duty truck market.