Industrial manufacturer

Eaton

(ETN) - Get Report

posted a jump in first-quarter profit, helped by strong sales.

The company earned $72 million, or $1 a share, compared with $33 million, or 47 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Excluding restructuring charges, the company earned $77 million, or $1.06 a share, compared with $66 million, or 93 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts were expecting 96 cents a share.

Revenue was $1.93 billion, up from $1.72 billion in the year-ago quarter.

"Our sales growth in the first quarter of 12% compared to last year has been due to continued growth in excess of our end markets, revenue from the four acquisitions we completed from November through January, and higher exchange rates," said Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton's chief executive. However, the company said it expects the sluggish economy to continue to pose a challenge.

The Cleveland-based company anticipates full-year 2003 EPS of $4.50 to $4.75, and second-quarter EPS of $1.15 to $1.25. Excluding restructuring charges, the company expects full-year operating earnings of $5 to $5.25 per share, and second-quarter operating earnings of $1.30 to $1.40 per share.

Shares of the company were up 1.9% at $73.64 at midday.