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Parker Hannifin increases quarterly dividend

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Parker Hannifin Corp., which makes motion and control products, reported Thursday that its third-quarter net income slipped as industrial orders declined at home and abroad.

The company cited tough economic conditions, which CEO and Chairman Don Washkewicz does not see changing during the current fiscal year.

The company still edged out Wall Street profit expectations and it raised its quarterly dividend 5 percent, sending shares higher in afternoon trading.

Parker-Hannifin earned $256.6 million, or $1.68 per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That's compared with $312.7 million, or $2.01 per share, earned in the same quarter last year. The company's revenue slipped to $3.30 billion from $3.39 billion with a 4 percent boost from acquisitions that was offset by a 6 percent reduction in organic sales.

Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, were anticipating earnings of $1.67 per share on revenue of $3.33 billion.

The company also said that it is increasing its regular quarterly cash dividend to 45 cents per share from its most recent payment of 43 cents per share given the company's strong cash flow. The new dividend is payable June 7 to shareholders of record as of May 10.

Washkewicz said that the fundamentals of the business remain very strong despite a mediocre global economic environment.

The company forecast earnings between $6.25 and $6.65 per share for the quarter from continuing operations. This includes an expected year-over-year increase in pension expenses of approximately 35 cents per share. Analysts had forecast earnings of $6.42 per share for the year.

Shares of Parker Hannifin, based in Cleveland, added $1.34 to reach $90.71 by late afternoon. Its shares have traded between $70.42 and $98.15 in the past 52 weeks.