I'm joined this morning by Steve Roell, who is our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Steve will provide an overview of the first quarter. That will be followed by a review of the business segments and the financial results by Bruce McDonald, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. After those presentations, we'll take some questions and answers and conclude at noon, Eastern Time. And with that, I'll turn it over to Steve.Stephen Roell Okay, well, thank you, Glen. Good morning. I'd like to start with three general comments. The first is the fact that we're just very pleased with the financial results in the quarter. The headline in our press release this morning highlights the fact that the sales earnings were at record levels. I think it's important to note that in the first quarter last year, we were already moving beyond the recovery phase. If you look back, last year's results were at a record level. So now I think that provides some additional context in terms of the double-digit increases that were achieved by all three businesses and the momentum that we have. In the past, I've talked about the value of our diversification in the context of business mix, geography and customer base. Clearly, we continue to benefit again from that diversification. Our global presence and capabilities and the diversity of the markets that we serve, particularly MDE, will continue to be a major factor of our success throughout the year. Finally, as we look across our businesses, we see increasing demand in the form of higher build schedules, double-digit growth in new business orders and backlogs, as well as the demand for new technology. I'm even more confident the decision that we discussed with you at our fall analyst conference to invest aggressively in our growth initiatives for 2012 and beyond is the right decision.
So I feel good about where we are. Sometimes, at this stage of the year, there's a lull. But I would tell you that this is probably the first time in a long time, even going back in when we had a more robust economy, that coming out of the first quarter, we feel as good as we do.I now want to shift to the PowerPoint slides. And I'll walk you through a couple of slides with you, and then Bruce will go through the business in more detail. First of all, sales of $9.5 billion were up 13% from Q1 of last year. I should note that if we were to adjust for foreign exchange, that 13% would be 15% up year-over-year. We saw a good double-digit growth across all three businesses, with Automotive Experience up 12%, Building Efficiency up 13%, Power Solution up 21%. Our segment income was up 31% from $406 million to $533 million. Highlighting that also is the fact that Automotive Experience had a 100 basis point improvement on margins, and BE had a 70 basis point improvement. Our net income of $375 million compares to $288 million last year. It's up 30% when we exclude the non-reoccurring tax benefit that was in last year's quarter. So the headlines that you're seeing out there, I know you're sophisticated enough to know that our earnings were up 7% on a GAAP basis, but the true momentum in our business from the standpoint of our net income was 30%. And that resulted in our EPS growth from $0.43 a share last year to $0.55 on a diluted share basis this year. In terms of momentum, solid growth in Building Efficiency backlog and orders. We highlighted that in our press release, and I think it clearly is evidence of continued market share gains. Our backlog was up 13% at the end of Q1. I think Bruce is going to go through and talk to you more about how that plays out by region. But we saw good growth across our businesses. The strong order month, after a very strong fourth quarter last year, we're up 17% again in Q1. We wanted to highlight the fact that our chiller shipments were up double digits. We can tell you that in North America -- for North American customers, I should say, was up 20%. In Asia, our demand for chillers, both small and large capacity chillers, was up 53%. So a good demand in our business, and we continue to see that momentum that began in the middle of last year. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com