Johnson Controls Reports Profit For 1st Quarter

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Auto parts and building systems maker Johnson Controls Inc. reported a $350 million profit in its fiscal first quarter and predicted better times ahead as the economy improves later this year.

The 52-cent-per-share profit for the quarter ending Dec. 31 was a huge improvement over a $608 million loss, or $1.02 per share, during the same period in the previous year, and it came due to higher sales and cost-cutting measures.

The company says revenue climbed in both its automotive and power solutions segments. Sales of building efficiency products declined.

The Milwaukee-based company said the net income was a quarterly record for the company, and it gave optimistic guidance for the rest of the year, raising its fiscal 2010 revenue forecast 16 percent to $33 billion and its earnings-per-share forecast to as much as $1.75 from its previous guidance of $1.35 to $1.45.

“We achieved record results in the first quarter despite what is still a very challenging economic environment in all of our markets,” Stephen A. Roell, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We believe there will be meaningful improvements in our markets by the end of the fiscal year and we are well positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities that will arise.”

Excluding a one-time tax benefit, the company earned 43 cents per share. Sales rose nearly 15 percent to $8.4 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 29 cents per share on sales of $7.5 billion. Such results typically exclude one-time items.

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