Cooper Industries


lowered its earnings and revenue guidance for the first quarter today, citing declining demand and a weak market for the company's products.

The company, which makes electrical products, said it would earn 60 cents a share in the first quarter ending March 31, down from 89 cents in the year-ago period. Six analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected earnings of 90 cents a share. The Houston-based company also said revenue would decline about 6% to 8% from the top line of $1.04 billion reported in the same quarter last year.

Cooper blamed the weaker North American economy and lower margins resulting from competitive market conditions for its guidance some of the usual suspects in the recent

spate of warnings. The company began implementing cost-cutting measures in the fourth quarter of 2000, including hiring freezes, job cuts and other spending reductions.

In recent trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

, Cooper lost $4.31, or 9.9%, to $39.15.