Cummins 4Q Profit Surges

Engine manufacturer said its fourth-quarter profit soared more than six-fold, helped by demand in developing markets like China, India and Brazil.

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) -- Engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit soared more than six-fold, helped by demand in developing markets like China, India and Brazil. Its shares rose more than 7 percent in morning trading.

The company also reported rising demand for on-highway truck engines and components in North America due to new emissions standards that took effect at the beginning of 2010.

But it warned that the first half of 2010 could be challenging because demand related to the new standard has been filled. North American truck and bus shipments could plunge as much as 80 percent during the first half of 2010.

The results still breezed past analyst estimates, sending shares climbing $3.33, or 7.1 percent, to $50.27 in morning trading. It shares have traded between $18.34 and $55.41 in the last 52 weeks.

Cummins said it earned $270 million, or $1.36 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That's up from $43 million, or 22 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding restructuring charges, the company earned $1.37 per share.

Sales rose 34 percent to $3.4 billion from $3.29 billion a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a weaker profit of 76 cents per share on $2.83 billion in sales, on average. Such estimates typically exclude one-time items such as restructuring charges.

For the year, the company's profit fell to $428 million, or $2.16 per share, from $755 million, or $3.84 per share, in 2008. Sales were off 25 percent to $10.8 billion.

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