third-quarter profit rose as revenue climbed at a faster rate than expenses, but the company said fourth-quarter earnings would be below estimates.
Including a charge, the company earned $72.1 million, or 55 cents a share, in the latest quarter compared with $57.3 million, or 44 cents a share, a year earlier.
Before the charge, the company earned 56 cents a share, 3 cents better than the analyst forecast. Revenue was $894.6 million, up 8% from a year ago on a pro forma basis.
In the fourth quarter, Ecolab expects earnings in the range of 41 cents to 44 cents a share on revenue growth of 12% to 14%. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 46 cents a share. Since the company posted better-than-forecast third-quarter earnings it expects its full-year profit to be in line with estimates. It also affirmed 2003 estimates of $2.02 a share.
Shares of the St. Paul-based company closed at $47.92 Monday on the
New York Stock Exchange
. Ecolab develops cleaning and pest elimination products and services.