CHICAGO -- Johnson Controls Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. auto parts maker, on Wednesday said quarterly earnings rose mainly on increased new automobile-interiors business for a variety of automakers.
Shares of the company fell slightly Wednesday after setting an all-time high a week ago.
Johnson Controls reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $164.5 million, or 86 cents per share, up from $140.4 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.
The results beat analysts' consensus estimate for earnings of 85 cents per share, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.
"However, there was a lot of noise in the numbers and the fact that revenue grew much faster than earnings per share may be disappointing to some investors," J.P. Morgan analyst David Bradley said in a note.
Revenue rose to $6.4 billion from $5.2 billion. Foreign currency translation added about $420 million to sales in the latest quarter, the company said.
Automotive group sales rose 26 percent to $4.98 billion in the quarter because of higher shipments of interior systems and batteries in North America and Europe.
Environmental controls sales rose 13 percent to $1.4 billion in the quarter, Johnson Controls said. Operating income for the unit rose 5 percent as higher income in North America more than offset a decline in income from Europe and Asia, it said.
The company stood by its previous forecast for double-digit earnings-per-share growth in fiscal 2004. It said it expects full-year sales to increase by 13 percent to 15 percent, raising prior estimates based on the strength of the euro.
The Milwaukee-based company said it expects fiscal 2004 automotive operating margins to be flat to slightly lower, and controls group operating margins to be slightly lower, based on the stronger euro and stock-based employee compensation.
Johnson Controls said it expects vehicle production in the major geographic markets that it serves to be flat to slightly higher for the rest of the fiscal year.
The overall outlook for commercial building environmental controls is mixed, with new construction weak overall but some sectors providing opportunities, it said.