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Rockwell Automation Beats 4Q Profit Forecasts

Industrial automation manufacturer Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee, reported an increase in quarterly profit of almost 16% for the company's fiscal fourth quarter (4Q) ended Sept. 30.

On the strength of increased sales in motion control and industrial safety products, the company overall reported net income of $248.7 million for the quarter, up from $215.3 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose 4% to $1.78 billion.

Rockwell reported record revenues for the entirety of 2014. Sales were $6,623.5 million for the year, up 4.3% compared to $6,351.9 million in fiscal 2013. Organic sales increased 5.1%. Total segment operating earnings increased 9% to $1,352.0 million in fiscal 2014 compared to $1,236.8 million in fiscal 2013. Total segment operating margin increased to 20.4% from 19.5% a year ago, primarily due to higher sales, partially offset by increased spending, the company said.

Commenting on the outlook, Keith Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive, said, “Despite heightened uncertainty in some regions, the U.S. economy remains strong, and forecasts call for continued moderate global economic growth. Based on these factors, along with underlying demand trends, we are projecting fiscal 2015 organic sales growth of 2.5% to 6.5%.”

The positive outlook also means Rockwell may be investing in new technologies, Nosbusch added. “The key drivers of automation growth remain intact, and we believe we have the right strategy to capitalize on these opportunities. We will continue to invest in innovative technology and domain expertise to expand the value we provide to our customers, while delivering superior returns to our shareowners."

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