DUBLIN—Eaton Corp. P.L.C.'s first-quarter net income increased 9 percent to $432 million, as sales for the period were stronger than expected.
Revenues for the quarter inched up 1 percent to $4.8 billion, with 2 percent of organic growth partially offset by a 1 percent decline from negative currency translation. The Dublin-based conglomerate, which has a North American headquarters in Beachwood, Ohio, had forecast a sales drop of 3 percent for the first quarter, Chairman and CEO Craig Arnold said in a statement.
Segment margins in the first quarter were 14.4 percent, with operating cash flow of $463 million setting a new first quarter record, according to the firm. "We continued to return substantial cash to our shareholders, raising our quarterly dividend by 5 percent in February and repurchasing $255 million of our shares in the quarter," Arnold said.
Eaton's Hydraulics business segment had a strong showing, with sales rising 7 percent over last year's first quarter to $587 million. Operating profits jumped 46 percent to $60 million. Arnold said hydraulics orders grew in all geographic regions, with strength from both OEMs and distribution.
Because of the strong first quarter, Arnold said that Eaton is raising its earnings guidance for the year by 15 cents a share, to between $4.45 and $4.75.