Ingersoll-Rand PLC on Friday posted a $95.6 million first-quarter profit, reversing a loss from last year, but said it expected challenges throughout 2012.
The manufacturer of air conditioning systems for homes and businesses, security systems and locks, and other products said the slowing economy in Europe will hurt demand, while commercial construction remains weak in North America. Ingersoll-Rand is based in Ireland. The company's profit guidance for the current quarter fell short of analyst expectations, although its year forecast was within the range of Wall Street estimates.
For the January-March quarter, profit amounted to 31 cents per share, compared with a loss of $77.6 million, or 23 cents per share, in the first three months of 2011. Costs related to the sale of the company's Hussman refrigeration business hurt results in the year-ago quarter.
The recent quarter's earnings from continuing operations came to 31 cents per share.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected 25 cents per share.
Revenue fell 4 percent to $3.15 billion from $3.27 billion. But excluding the Hussmann business, sales rose about 3 percent, the company said. Analysts expected revenue of $3.04 billion.
In the company's biggest division by revenue, which provides commercial air conditioning systems and temperature-controlled shipping services, revenue fell 9 percent to $1.66 billion. The Hussman unit added $213.1 million in revenue the year before.
Ingersoll-Rand said it expects moderate growth in commercial heating and cooling system replacement activity, along with a moderate increase in demand from refrigerated transportation markets.
The company's industrial technology unit's revenue rose 8 percent to $689 million, while revenue fell 3 percent to $422 million in the division that makes home air conditioning, air quality systems and other residential products.
For the current quarter, which ends in June, Ingersoll-Rand expects profit from continuing operations of 85 cents to 90 cents per share on between $3.8 billion and $3.9 billion in revenue. Analysts expect higher profit of 97 cents per share on $3.88 billion in revenue.
For the year, the company expects profit of $2.90 to $3.10 per share on $14 billion to $14.4 billion in revenue.
Analysts polled by FactSet expect a profit of $3.04 per share on $14.4 billion in revenue.
Ingersoll-Rand shares rose 40 cents to $40.53 in Friday morning trading.