A.O. Smith (AOS) - Get Report beat third-quarter targets but guided lower for the year, citing weak housing markets and raw material cost pressures.

The Milwaukee-based diversified manufacturer made $17 million, or 55 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from the year-ago $9.7 million, or 32 cents a share. Sales rose to $564 million from $408 million a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 52-cent profit on sales of $561 million.

"We are pleased with our third quarter performance," CEO Paul W. Jones said. "Strong sales in our North American water heater business, as well as continued strength in our Chinese water heater operation more than offset lower sales volume in our Electrical Products business."

"We expect continued strength in both our North American commercial and Chinese water heater businesses," Jones said. "We are also pleased with the progress we are making with the integration of GSW and are enthused about the prospects for the combined business. However, because of near-term weakness in residential markets and continued pressure from raw material costs in both businesses, we are narrowing our 2006 forecast of earnings to between $2.30 and $2.40 per share."

Analysts were looking for $2.50.