On Emerson's (EMR) Q1 earnings conference call, CEO David Farr said, "The pockets of growth our businesses captured were encouraging even though the level of total investment in our end markets continues to be slow. Recent order trends suggest market conditions have stabilized and may be poised for improvement, particularly in the emerging markets. Business investment remains slow and cautious globally, particularly in Europe, but there have been indications of thawing demand in certain markets." Despite the tenuous economic environment, the company expects to be on pace for record financial performance in 2013, with most of the gains coming in the first half of the year. Asia is expected to gain order growth momentum in the second quarter, especially in China and India. Also, steady demand in the near term from the continued recovery of residential end markets in U.S. is expected to drive profits. Management says the balance sheet remains strong and the near term outlook looks solid, supported by energy end market strength and a high backlog. Overall, the company says its cost structure remains well-positioned for continued sluggish demand for industrial capital goods in the near term.