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Emerson Electric 1Q profit meets Street's view

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Emerson Electric's first-quarter net income rose 22 percent, benefiting from stronger sales in the U.S. and Asia.

The St. Louis company raised the low end of its full-year revenue forecast on Tuesday, but remained cautious in the given economic environment.

"As suggested by lower capital expenditures, we remain guarded with investments until economic visibility improves, said Chairman and CEO David Farr. "At the same time, we are investing in key strategic programs to ensure we are well-positioned when global economic growth accelerates."

Emerson Electric Co. earned $454 million, or 62 cents per share, compared with $371 million, or 50 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue for the period ended Dec. 31 increased 5 percent to $5.55 billion from $5.31 billion.

The company topped Wall Street expectations on both counts.

Sales climbed 6 percent in both the U.S. and Asia, while European sales fell 2 percent.

The strongest sales occurred in the process management division, up 24 percent for the quarter. The climate technologies unit reported a 2 percent rise in sales.

The industrial automation, network power and commercial and residential solutions segments all posted sales declines.

Farr said that recent trends suggest a stabilizing market.

For the full year, Emerson Electric now foresees revenue increasing 2 percent to 5 percent. Its prior guidance called for revenue to be flat to up 5 percent. Based on 2012's revenue of $24.41 billion, the new outlook implies revenue of $24.9 billion to $25.62 billion.

Earnings are expected in a range of $3.53 to $3.63 per share.

Analysts expect earnings of $3.59 per share on revenue of $25.04 billion.

The company's stock fell $1.15, or 2 percent, to $56.34 in midday trading. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $43.58 to $58.30.