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Rockwell Automation 4Q Profit Soars As Revenue, Margins Grow

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Rockwell Automation Inc.'s (ROK) fiscal fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled as revenue and margins rose. For the new year, it forecast earnings per share of $3.80 to $4.20 on revenue growing 8% to 12%, excluding currency impacts. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently expected earnings of $3.76 on 10% growth in total revenue to $5.34 billion. The maker of factory-automation equipment has reported sharply better results in recent quarters as revenue has rebounded. Chairman and Chief Executive Keith Nosbusch said China and India operations were bright spots in the latest period. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Rockwell reported a profit of $131.3 million, or 91 cents a share, up from $28.9 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts most recently forecast 91 cents. Revenue jumped 26% to $1.36 billion. In July, the company predicted around $1.32 billion, exceeding analysts' then-estimates. Gross margin widened to 39% from 34% amid the top-line growth. At Rockwell's control products and solutions unit, which makes industrial and motor control products such as circuit protection and signaling devices, sales jumped 20%. At its architecture and software business, revenue surged 36%. Shares closed Monday at $66.33 and were inactive in recent premarket trading. The stock has gained 41% this year. -By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240; matthew.jarzemsky@dowjones.com

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