DUBLIN, Ireland — Power management company Eaton Corporation plc (NYSE:ETN) today announced that operating earnings per share, which exclude charges of $0.02 per share to integrate recent acquisitions, were $1.01 for the first quarter of 2015, the same as the first quarter of 2014. Sales in the first quarter of 2015 were $5.2 billion, 5 percent lower than the same period in 2014. Operating earnings for the first quarter of 2015, excluding pre-tax charges of $11 million to integrate recent acquisitions, were $473 million.
Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Our first quarter results are a solid start to the year, coming in slightly above the midpoint of our guidance despite the impact from additional negative currency translation.
“Our 5 percent sales decline in the first quarter consisted of 1 percent organic growth offset by negative 6 percent from currency translation,” said Cutler. “Our operating earnings per share were flat with the first quarter of 2014, driven by a 9 cent negative impact from lower currency translation and a higher tax rate. Without this impact, our first quarter 2015 operating earnings per share would have grown by 9 percent.
“We returned substantial cash to our shareholders during the quarter,” said Cutler. “We raised our quarterly dividend by 12 percent and repurchased $170 million of our shares.
“As a result of weaker conditions in some of our markets, we now anticipate our organic revenue growth in 2015 will be between 2 and 3 percent, 1 percent lower than our earlier estimate,” said Cutler. “In addition, most currencies have declined against the U.S. dollar by more than we anticipated at the start of the year. As a result, we now expect the impact of negative currency translation to be 5 percent, 1 percent higher than our earlier expectation.
“We anticipate operating earnings per share for the second quarter of 2015, which exclude an estimated $16 million of pre-tax charges to integrate our recent acquisitions, to be between $1.10 and $1.20,” said Cutler. “In light of a larger impact from negative currency translation and lower growth in our end markets, we are slightly reducing our guidance for full year 2015 operating earnings per share to between $4.65 and $4.95, a reduction of 2 percent.”
Business Segment Results
Sales for the Electrical Products segment were $1.7 billion, down 2 percent from 2014. Organic sales grew 4 percent, offset by a 6 percent decline from currency translation. Operating profits were $260 million. Excluding acquisition integration charges of $6 million during the quarter, operating profits were $266 million, down 5 percent from the first quarter of 2014.
“Our bookings in the first quarter in the Electrical Products segment were up 5 percent over the first quarter a year ago,” said Cutler. “March bookings were particularly strong, registering an increase of 12 percent.”
Sales for the Electrical Systems and Services segment were $1.4 billion, down 5 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Organic sales were down 1 percent and currency translation was negative 4 percent. The segment reported operating profits of $186 million. Excluding acquisition integration charges of $3 million during the quarter, operating profits were $189 million, down 3 percent from the first quarter of 2014.
“As we had expected, organic sales were slightly lower in the first quarter, reflecting the softness we saw in bookings during the second half of 2014,” said Cutler. “Bookings in the first quarter were flat with the first quarter of 2014. March orders showed a significant increase in activity, with bookings up 13 percent.”Eaton, tED