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on Thursday offered in-line first-quarter and full-year guidance, citing strong demand in emerging markets.

The St. Louis-based conglomerate said it expects to earn 70 cents a share in its first quarter, vs. 58 cents a share a year earlier. First-quarter results will include 3 cents a share from several items.

Emerson also indicated that it expects EPS for its 2005 fiscal year, ending Sept. 30, to increase 10% to 15% over the $2.98 earned in fiscal 2004.

The consensus EPS estimates, excusing items, are 69 cents and $3.45.

The company said business picked up in December, driven by strong growth in process management and industrial automation, with strong demand in emerging markets.

Emerson, which designs and supplies product technology as well as providing engineering services in various industrial, commercial and consumer markets, made the forecasts at its annual investment community update meeting today in New York.

Shares closed at $66.13 Wednesday.