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Earnings Preview: Illinois Tool Works sees Q4 revenue down 1%-4%

Illinois Tool Works (ITW) is scheduled to report Q4 earnings before the market open on Tuesday, January 29, with a conference call scheduled for 10:00 am ET. Illinois Tool Works is a global manufacturer of industrial products and equipment, operating in 58 countries… EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of 89c on revenue of $4.15B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 71c-95c on revenue of $4.02B-$4.23B... LAST QUARTER: Illinois Tool Works reported Q3 adjusted EPS of $1.09 against estimates for $1.06 on revenue of $4.5B against estimates for $4.58B. During its Q3 earnings report, the company forecast Q4 of EPS 86c-94c, consensus 98c while calling for Q4 revenue to be down 1%-4%. Q4 forecasts exclude two months of operating contributions from the Decorative Surfaces segment, gains and expenses related to the transaction, as well as the impact from the 49% ongoing equity interest in the new Decorative Surfaces entity. The company said international end markets will continue to be sluggish and the impact of currency translation will be modestly negative in Q4. As a result, they expected full-year total revenue growth to be in a range of 0%-1%. On December 14 at an analyst day presentation, the company forecast 2013 total company organic growth of 1%-3%... STREET RESEARCH: Street research has been mixed in the weeks leading up to Illinois Tool Works’ Q4 earnings report. Downgrades were issued by ISI Group and J.P. Morgan on November 8 and January 8, respectively. Stifel Nicolaus initiated the shares with a Buy rating and a $71 price target on November 27... PRICE ACTION: Illinois Tool Works’ shares have traded in a choppy, narrow range since the company's Q3 report. However, since late December, the stock has gained approximately 10% and currently sits near 52-week highs of $65.30. In early afternoon trading ahead of tomorrow's Q4 report, Illinois Tool Works’ shares are up 0.25%.