With me today are Jim Griffith, President and CEO; Glenn Eisenberg, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, and CFO; Rich Kyle, President of our Mobile and Aerospace and Defense businesses; Chris Coughlin, President of Process Industries; and Sal Miraglia, President of our Steel Group.We have remarks this morning from Jim and Glenn, and then we’ll all be available for Q&A. At that time, I’d ask that you please limit your questions to one question and one follow-up at a time to allow an opportunity for everyone to participate. Before we begin, I’d like to remind you that during our conversation today, you may hear forward-looking statements related to future financial results, plans and business operations. Actual results may differ materially from those projected or implied due to a variety of factors. These factors are described in greater detail in today’s press release and in our reports filed with the SEC, which are available on our website www.timken.com. Reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP financial information are included as a part of the press release. This call is copyrighted by The Timken Company, any use, recording or transmission of any portion without the express written consent of the company is prohibited. With that, I’ll turn the call over to Jim. Jim Griffith Thanks, Steve, and good morning. By now you’ve seen our earnings release and know that our results for the first quarter were exception. Sales were up 13% to $1.4 billion and we generated income of a $1.58 per diluted share. Both I’m proud to note, our new records for the company, not just for this quarter, but for any previous quarter in our history. We leveraged 40% of sales increased to the bottom line demonstrating strong execution and providing a terrific start to the year. Our efforts were void by momentum in the marketplace.
In North America, we saw continued strengthening across most of the markets we serve with notable increases in the oil and gas, and off-highway sectors. Our European business saw improved sales in the quarter driven by demand in industrial aftermarket.Sales in Asia were down in line with expectations as we saw heavy capital goods and wind energy demand softened from the robust year ago levels. We expect demand in Asia to pick up as the year unfolds. The results we continued to deliver stand as evidence that we have fundamentally changed the structure of our business. Strategically, we have repositioned our product and services portfolio, reoriented toward those applications and markets for our know-how significant value to our customers that includes the critical market of energy, mining and infrastructure development. We’ve expanded existing product lines which are resonating well in the market. For example, we redesigned and launched the adapt bearing that brings together the benefit of several bearing types thanks to Timken proprietary design. We have acquired adjacent product lines including the Philadelphia Gear products and services and with our Drives acquisition added roller and engineer chain. Both of these businesses are performing very well and we’re pleased with their progress. We focused on geographies for our strong brand and reputation for increasing reliability our opening doors. These changes are creating additional opportunities to invest for growth and operational efficiencies. Just two days ago, we broke ground on $225 million investment in our Faircrest Steel Plant. This will improve the productivity and yield of the steel business, and increase our ability to serve demand for the oil and gas, and industrial markets. Our first quarter results exceeded expectations, we’re on pace to achieve another record year. I shared a bit about how our strategy is driving our performance that coupled with a current market conditions lead us to increase our forecast in full year earnings estimate. We see strengthening demand from energy, mining and rail markets, as well as global industrial after market. We’re enjoying increased sales from new products and recent acquisitions, and welcome the signs of recovery in our aerospace business. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com