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Sales Boost Profit at Emerson 12 Percent

February 3, 2004

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ First-quarter net income rose 12 percent at Emerson Electric Co., and the company saw rising U.S. sales for the first time in two and a half years.

Emerson, which makes control systems, electronics and electrical products, earned $244 million, or 58 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter, which ended Dec. 31.

The St. Louis-based company earned $217 million, or 52 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

In a press release Tuesday, Emerson said first-quarter sales rose 12 percent to $3.6 billion from $3.23 billion a year ago. Sales were boosted by favorable currency exchange rates and increases in all of its divisions, particularly in its HVAC and its electronics and telecommunications segments.

For the year ending September, Emerson backed its prior earnings guidance of $2.65 to $2.75 a share, which is roughly in line with a Thomson First Call projection of $2.75 a share based on a poll of 18 analysts and above the $2.59 a share reported in fiscal 2003.

``We’re off to a good start, and we are cautiously optimistic about 2004,″ said chief executive David N. Farr. ``The pace of customer orders and overall business activity remain solid and should drive continued growth throughout the remainder of the year.″

Emerson shares were at $62.31, down 86 cents, or 1.4 percent, in Tuesday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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