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Ingersoll-Rand Guides Higher

First-quarter earnings are ahead of estimates.
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first-quarter earnings rose 8.6% from a year ago, as sales and margins rose in all five of its major business segments.

Ingersoll-Rand earned $253.2 million, or 76 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $223.1 million, or 64 cents a share, a year ago. On a continuing-operations basis, the company earned 79 cents a share in the most recent quarter, beating the Thomson First Call consensus estimate by 7 cents.

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First-quarter revenue rose 10% from a year ago to $2.71 billion, beating the $2.65 billion consensus.

"All of our business segments achieved revenue and earnings growth and improved operating margins compared with the first quarter of last year," the company said. "These results largely reflect the success of our innovations, which continue to generate market share gains in strong end markets, the benefits of our acquisition program, growth of highly profitable recurring revenues, and our employees' ability to drive continuing productivity gains and operating efficiencies across our global operations."

In Ingersoll's largest segment by revenue, compact vehicle technologies, revenue rose 11% to $734.5 million, while operating margin was 16.5%, up from 16.4%. In climate control, sales rose 7%, while the margin widened to 10.1% from 9.4%.

For the second quarter, the company expects earnings from continuing operations of 92 cents to 97 cents a share, up 10% to 16% from a year ago. Analysts were forecasting 93 cents a share. For the year, the company sees earnings from continuing operations of $3.50 to $3.60 a share, compared with the $3.42-a-share consensus.

The stock closed at $45.35 Thursday, 12.6 times the high end of the new 2006 EPS guidance range.