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Illinois Tool Works net income, revenue fall

GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Tool Works Inc. reported a 27 percent decline in first-quarter net income Tuesday as its revenue fell 8 percent.

But the industrial products and equipment maker said its operating margins — a measure of how much of its revenue that a company gets to keep — had improved and its shares rose more than 3 percent in afternoon trading.

The company based in Glenview, Ill., said it earned $354 million, or 78 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, down from $486 million, or $1 per share, in the same quarter last year.

After adjusting for the acquisition of the majority interest in a consumer packaging joint venture, it earned 96 cents per share for the most recent period. That matched what analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected,

Illinois Tool Works said its net revenue fell to $4.01 billion from $4.36 billion a year ago. It cited weaker demand in end markets and the inclusion of its now-sold decorative surfaces business in its prior-year results. Excluding the impact of decorative surfaces, total revenues declined 1.8 percent. Analysts expected revenue of $4.28 billion.

The company said its operating margins had improved to 16.5 percent, up 60 basis points from a year ago, including gains in six of its eight reporting segments.

Illinois Tool Works said it expects to earn between $4.15 and $4.35 per share for the year; analysts were forecasting $4.26 per share. It forecast second-quarter earnings between $1.04 and $1.12 per share, analysts had forecast $1.12 per share for the period.

Shares of the company jumped $2.12, or 3.5 percent, to $62.89 in afternoon trading. Its shares are near the upper-end of its 52-week trading range of $49.07 to $65.60.