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Ingersoll Rand Lifts Targets

Industrial manufacturer Ingersoll Rand (IR) beat third-quarter earnings targets and lifted its guidance for the full year, helped by solid revenue growth in its international operations.

The Bermuda-based company posted net income of $266.6 million, or 92 cents a share, up from $243.8 million, or 76 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring charges, earnings per share were 96 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 88 cents a share; the company's guidance called for earnings of 85 cents to 90 cents a share.

Ingersoll Rand's revenue rose 10% to $2.24 billion, slightly shy of Wall Street's forecast of $2.29 billion.

Like many industrial and construction-related firms grappling with the U.S. housing slump, Ingersoll Rand saw the biggest revenue gains overseas. International revenue jumped 19%, while domestic revenue increased 4%.

"Most of Ingersoll Rand's major worldwide end markets have enjoyed solid demand during 2007," said Chairman, President and CEO Herbert Henkel in a press release. "Third-quarter orders for the total company increased by approximately 7% compared with 2006, with year-over-year improvements at Industrial Technologies, Security Technologies and in Climate Control markets outside of North America."

For the year, Ingersoll Rand now sees earnings of $3.55 to $3.60 a share, excluding restructuring charges but including discontinued operations. Previously, the company forecast earnings of $3.45 to $3.55 a share.

Analysts project a 2007 profit of $3.50 a share.

Ingersoll Rand agreed in July to sell its Bobcat utility equipment and attachments business to construction-equipment firm Doosan Infracore for $4.9 billion. That deal is expected to close late in the fourth quarter.

"The disposition of our construction-related businesses is the culmination of our strategy to transition away from cyclical, heavy machinery businesses and to transform our business portfolio to reposition Ingersoll Rand as a leading global diversified industrial company," said Henkel.

Third-quarter earnings from continuing operations, which excludes the company's Bobcat and construction-related businesses, fell to $197.6 million from $200.4 million the prior year. But earnings per share increased to 68 cents from 63 cents due to fewer shares outstanding in the latest period.

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