Eaton reports lower Q4 sales and earnings

Charging electric bus

Power management company Eaton Corp. (NYSE: ETN) reported lower sales and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019, partially because of weakness in its automotive business.

Eaton reported sales of $5.23 billion in the October-December period, 4% below the $5.45 billion in the same period of 2018.

Net income was $453 million, or $1.09 per share, down 27% from $631 million, or $1.46 per share in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The results missed the consensus of analysts by 3 cents per share and revenue by $130 million, according to investor site Seeking Alpha.

Eaton took a 28-cents-per-share charge for acquiring and integrating new businesses and divesting others, and 9 cents per share to cover an expected $50 million warranty charge for performance related to a faulty supplier part. Excluding those charges, earnings were flat with the year-ago quarter.

Vehicle segment sales of $664 million were down 19% from the fourth quarter of 2018. Fourth-quarter operating profits of $63 million were down 18%. Excluding the $50 million warranty costs, operating profits were $113 million, down 23% from the fourth quarter of 2018.

Eaton said the impact of a 40-day United Auto Workers strike and downtime at Class 8 truck manufacturers negatively impacted its results.

For all of 2019, Eaton reported revenue of $21.39 billion versus $21.60 billion a year ago. Net profits were $2.21 billion versus $2.14 billion.