Ingersoll-Rand ( IR) said first-quarter earnings will be higher than expected, thanks to strength in its end markets. The industrial conglomerate expects to earn 70 cents to 80 cents a share in the quarter, up from its old estimate of 65 cents to 75 cents. Analysts surveyed by Thomson One Analytics were expecting earnings of 74 cents on sales of $2.29 billion, on average. The company also expects to book a $31.5 million pretax gain in the quarter representing a payment from the U.S. Customs Bureau for antidumping claims under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act. The gain, which comes out to 11 cents a share, was deferred from the 2003 fourth quarter and will be reported in discontinued operations. Ingersoll-Rand closed Tuesday at $64.89, down $1.09, or 1.7%.