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Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK) today reported fiscal 2012 third quarter sales of $1,560.4 million, up 3 percent from $1,516.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Organic sales increased 7 percent and currency translation reduced sales by 4 percentage points. Income from continuing operations was $190.7 million ($1.33 per share) compared to $178.8 million ($1.22 per share) last year. Earnings per share from continuing operations increased 9 percent.
Total segment operating earnings were $284.0 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, up from $263.3 million in the same period of 2011. Total segment operating margin expanded to 18.2 percent from 17.4 percent a year ago.
Free cash flow was $232.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. Return on invested capital was 30.4 percent.
Organic sales, total segment operating earnings, total segment operating margin, free cash flow and return on invested capital are non-GAAP measures that are reconciled to GAAP measures in the attachments to this release.
Commenting on the results, Keith D. Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We delivered solid 7 percent organic sales growth in the quarter with organic growth in all regions. Operating margin expanded almost a point and earnings per share grew 9 percent. It was a good quarter in the midst of a challenging macroeconomic environment.”
Commenting on the outlook, Nosbusch added, “Most economic indicators have weakened from a quarter ago and the global political environment remains unsettled. Based on this increased uncertainty and our sales performance in the third quarter, we now expect slower growth in the fourth quarter, particularly in Latin America and emerging Asia. Taking these factors into consideration, plus an increasing headwind from currency, we are reducing our sales outlook for the fiscal year to approximately $6.2 billion. Correspondingly, we are revising our fiscal 2012 earnings per share guidance range to $5.00 to $5.20, with about five cents of the reduction coming from currency. Sales and earnings in this range would represent another record year for the company.