The Glenview, Ill.-based company said it expects to earn 58 to 62 cents per diluted share in the quarter ended Feb. 28, down from 72 cents a year ago and below the 67 cents forecast by analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial. For the fiscal year, it expects to earn $3.15 a share, unchanged from the previous year and below the $3.29 projected in a First Call survey.
Analysts said the announcement, given Illinois Tool's diverse products, demonstrates the economic slowdown is broadly based.
Illinois Tool had lowered its first-quarter earnings estimate on Jan. 30, when it reported year-end results, to between 66 cents to 71 cents because of the slowing economy.
Analysts noted the company's international businesses continue to do well. Sales of its engineered products rose 22 percent internationally but fell 3 percent in North America. Sales of specialty products increased 17 percent internationally but were unchanged in North America. In addition, sales of consumer products slid 6 percent.