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Johnson Controls 1Q Profit Up

Rebound in auto parts and building climate control sales pushed Johnson ControlsĀ earnings up 7 percent and revenue up 13 percent in its fiscal first quarter.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A rebound in auto parts and building climate control sales pushed Johnson Controls Inc. earnings up 7 percent and revenue up 13 percent in its fiscal first quarter.

The results topped Wall Street expectations and the company raised its full-year guidance, saying it expects an increase in auto production in North America and Europe.

The Milwaukee company, which makes automotive batteries and seating as well as heating and cooling systems for buildings, said in a statement Thursday that revenue and earnings were up even though the auto and building markets are below normal levels.

It reported net income rose to a company record $375 million, or 55 cents a share, for the quarter ending Dec. 31. That's up from $350 million, or 52 cents per share, a year ago.

The company also reported record revenue of $9.5 billion, up from $8.4 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 53 cents per share on revenue of $8.9 billion.

Automotive parts income was $177 million, up 46 percent from last year because of higher sales volumes and higher profits in joint ventures, the company said. Power Solutions, which includes automotive batteries, saw a 20 percent income jump to $217 million. JCI's building unit saw a 34 percent income jump to $139 million.

"We now have solid momentum in all three of our businesses," Chairman and CEO Stephen Roell said in the statement.

The company said it now expects earnings per share to be in the $2.50 to $2.55 range compared with earlier guidance of $2.30 to $2.45. For the second quarter, JCI expects earnings of 52 cents to 54 cents per share, up more than 20 percent from the same period last year.

It also predicts auto production in North America will rise to 12.5 million vehicles, up from an earlier estimate of 12.3 million, while European production is expected to be 18.3 million vehicles, up from the previous estimate of 17.6 million.

"We are increasingly confident in our expectations for record results in 2011," Roell said.

Its shares slipped 74 cents to $39.39 in pre-market trading.

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