Eaton's 4Q net income up 53%; 2-for-1 stock split announced

Eaton Corporation today announced fourth quarter 2003 net income per share of $1.44, an increase of 53 percent over net income per share of $.94 in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales in the quarter were $2.08 billion, 17 percent above the same period in 2002 and a record for the fourth quarter. Net income was $114 million compared to $67 million in 2002, an increase of 70 percent. For the full year 2003, sales were $8.06 billion, 12 percent above 2002, and the highest sales since 2000, a company statement noted. Net income of $386 million increased 37 percent over 2002, and net income per share of $5.13 rose 31 percent. The company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split without discussing timing, an increase in quarterly dividend by 12.5 percent, from $.48 per share to $.54 per share on a pre-split basis, and a contribution of $75 million to its qualified pension plans in the United States. "Sales growth in the fourth quarter of 17 percent consisted of 7 percent from acquisitions, 4 percent from higher exchange rates, and 6 percent from organic growth. Our organic growth was made up of 4 percent growth in our end markets and 2 percent growth from outgrowing our end markets,” said Alexander M. Cutler, chairman and chief executive officer. "As we survey our end markets in 2004, we anticipate growth of approximately 4 percent," said Cutler. "As in 2003, we expect to outgrow our end markets by 2 to 3 percent. We will also record additional growth from the full year impact of the Delta acquisition, and from the new joint ventures we established during the year with Caterpillar, and with Shaanxi Fast Gear and Senstar in China.

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