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American Standard


hit first-quarter targets and reaffirmed guidance, and said it would cut as many as 380 jobs in Europe.

The Piscataway, N.J., air conditioning and bathroom company made $84 million, or 40 cents a share, down from the year-ago $125 million, or 57 cents a share. Excluding certain costs, latest-quarter earnings were 43 cents a share, 3 cents ahead of the Thomson Financial analyst consensus estimate. Sales rose to $2.55 billion from $2.34 billion a year earlier, beating the $2.48 billion estimate.

"Air Conditioning Systems and Services achieved excellent results, with strength in both the commercial and residential parts of the business, and Vehicle Control Systems once again outperformed its markets," said CEO Fred Poses. "Bath and Kitchen performed as we expected -- about the same as fourth quarter -- as we took actions to rebuild its profitability and continue to build its global competitiveness. During the quarter, each business increased investments for long-term growth, and we supported new product launches with added marketing spending. Our overall results reflected the fundamental strength of our air conditioning business, enabling us to overcome all but 2 cents of the 14-cent net income per share reduction in Bath and Kitchen performance from first quarter last year."

The company said it will cut 320-380 jobs in Europe in a bid to cut red tape and rebuild the unit's performance. The move will cost around $20 million and bring $10 million in annual savings starting next year.

"We very carefully consider any plans that affect people's jobs and believe these and any possible future actions are essential to rebuild Bath and Kitchen's profitability and continue to build its global competitiveness," Poses said.

The company said it expects to make around 90 cents a share for the second quarter and around $2.75 for the year. Analysts were looking for 90 cents and $2.71.