CLEVELAND (Jan. 23) — Eaton Corp. posted $12.4 billion in sales in 2006, a 12-percent increase from 2005, the company said, with its Fluid Power responsible for $3.98 billion.
Eaton's net income for the year was $950 million, an 18-percent boost from 2005.
The firm also had a strong fourth quarter, with sales growing 10 percent to $3.1 billion. Net income rose 15 percent to $241 million for the quarter.
Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and CEO, said the fourth quarter was the 19th in a row with year-over-year operating earnings per share that grew more than 10 percent.
Cutler said he believes numbers for 2007 will be flat with 2006. He said there will be a continued decline in manufacturing from the slowdown of the NAFTA heavy-duty truck market, but that Eaton will offset those losses through restructuring — including six acquisitions in 2006 and two more in the works.
The Fluid Power segment's fourth-quarter sales reached $985 million, 17 percent more than 2005, with much of the increase coming from added revenue from acquisitions. Global hydraulic shipments, commercial aerospace markets and defense aerospace markets all experienced growth while European automotive production remained level with 2005 fourth-quarter numbers.
Cutler said the firm believes Fluid Power operating margins will improve in 2007 because of increased volume, more mix of aerospace revenues and benefits from acquisitions in 2006.