Eaton Corp. is “increasingly confident that our Truck business has bottomed, as both NAFTA industry order levels and our own orders have started to climb substantially," said Chairman and CEO Alexander M. Cutler.

"We expect that second quarter heavy-duty truck production could increase as much as 20-25% from current levels, giving us further confidence in our full-year forecast for 150,000 units of heavy-duty truck production in 2002.”
Eaton’s Truck segment sales for the quarter were $255 million, down 9% from the same period last year. Before restructuring expenses, segment operating profits were $4 million compared to a breakeven quarter a year ago. The company noted that NAFTA heavy-duty truck production was down 8%, NAFTA medium-duty truck production was down 9%, European truck production was down 16% and South American production decreased by approximately 4%.
Eaton sales for all segments totaled $1.72 billion, down 13% from first quarter 2001. Net income before unusual items was $66 million compared to $73 million for the same period last year. After all unusual items, including $49 million in restructuring charges, first quarter net income was $33 million compared to $50 million last year.
Cutler said that first quarter performance was in line with the company’s expectations in light of weak end market demand. He also said that restructuring actions taken last year and in the first quarter of this year should save $130 million in 2002.
"Our overall forecast for our end markets has not changed,” he said. “We had expected our markets to bottom out in the first quarter, and not to recover materially until the end of the third quarter. We are beginning to see limited signs of strengthening at this time, which appear to validate our earlier forecast.”
First quarter Automotive segment sales were $385 million, about the same as last year. NAFTA automotive production was up 1% while European production declined approximately 4%. Segment profits before unusual items were $57 million, up
6% from a year ago. Cutler credited new product introductions and market share gains for Eaton’s strong performance.
First quarter sales of Eaton's largest business segment, Fluid Power, were
$597 million, down 11% from a year ago. Segment profits were $60 million, down 13%. In the Industrial & Commercial Controls segment, first quarter sales were
$486 million, down 13% from last year. Profits were $31 million before restructuring, down 37%.