U.S. Markets closed

Rockwell Automation 4Q net income down 3 pct

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Rockwell Automation Inc. said Monday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income fell 3 percent, as the continued sluggish economy hurt demand for its products and services.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Milwaukee-based industrial equipment and software maker earned $195.2 million, or $1.38 per share, down from $201.8 million, or $1.39 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose less than 1 percent to $1.66 billion from $1.65 billion.

The profit beat Wall Street predictions, while revenue fell slightly short. Analysts, on average, expected a net income of $1.32 per share on $1.62 billion in revenue.

Rockwell said its sales to existing customers rose 5 percent, while the effects of unfavorable currency exchange rates reduced revenue by 4 percentage points. Rockwell, like other companies that do significant business outside the U.S., can be hurt by a rising dollar because income earned in foreign currencies shrinks when it's translated back into a stronger U.S. dollar.

Architecture and software sales fell 2 percent to $671.3 million, while sales of control products and services rose 2 percent to $992.7 million. The recent quarter's results also included $13 million in pretax restructuring charges.

For the full year 2012, the company earned $737 million, or $5.13 per share, up from $697.8 million, or $4.80 per share, in fiscal 2011. Revenue rose to $6.26 billion from $6 billion.

Rockwell said it expects to post an adjusted 2013 profit of $5.35 to $5.75 per share, while analysts expect $5.44 per share. The company added that while it does expect sales to increase in fiscal 2013, much of that increase will be weighted to the second half of the year.

Rockwell shares rose $2.49, or 3 percent, to $78 in afternoon trading.