Industrial equipment maker Ingersoll-Rand ( IR) posted a drop in fourth-quarter earnings as the housing slowdown cut demand for its equipment. Still, the results beat Wall Street's expectation, sending shares higher Wednesday. The company earned $222 million, or 72 cents a share, for the quarter, down from $291.6 million, or 88 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, the company earned 74 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 73 cents a share. Ingersoll-Rand's revenue rose to $2.89 billion from $2.71 billion a year earlier, topping Wall Street's estimate of $2.82 billion. "Our fourth quarter performance demonstrated the strength of our diversified business portfolio," said Herbert Henkel, chairman, president and chief executive. "Double-digit revenue increases in our diversified industrial businesses more than offset revenue declines in businesses affected by the significant slowdown in North American residential markets." Looking ahead, Ingersoll-Rand forecast adjusted first-quarter earnings of 68 cents to 73 cents a share, below analysts' projection of 76 cents a share. For the full year, the company sees earnings of $3.50 to $3.60 a share, in line with the $3.55 a share that analysts project. Shares of Ingersoll-Rand were trading up 89 cents, or 2.1%, to $42.65.