BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Filter maker Donaldson Co. said Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter net income fell 21 percent, hurt by a drop in customer orders.

Donaldson said business at many of its customers slowed in September and October. Incoming orders from engine and disk drive manufacturers fell as they cut production to deal with declining end market demand and reduced their inventory levels.

Equipment use also weakened, resulting in lower orders for replacement filters. But sales at the company’s gas turbine business helped offset that with a 33 percent year-over-year sales increase, the company said.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, Donaldson earned $54 million, or 36 cents per share, down from $69 million, or 45 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $589 million from $608 million.

The results were better than Wall Street predicted. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 34 cents per share on $585.1 million in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

Donaldson said it expects shipments of gas turbines to continue to be strong through the next two quarters and for improved sales of replacement filters to offset weaker demand from engine and disk drive manufacturers.

The company projected a full-year net income of $1.68 to $1.88 per share on $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion in revenue. Analysts expect full-year earnings of $1.77 per share on $2.58 billion in revenue.

Its shares edged up 16 cents to $34 in premarket trading. Its shares are down from a 52-week high of $38.89 in mid-February. They traded as low as $30.51 in mid-July.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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