A. O. Smith reported first quarter earnings of $21.9 million or $0.72 per share on sales of $571.4 million. First quarter sales were 1% lower than last year's first quarter. Net earnings increased approximately 12% over the $19.5 million or $0.63 per share earned during the same period in 2007. First quarter 2007 earnings included an after-tax restructuring charge of $.7 million or 0$.02 per share.
“We reported higher earnings from continued strength in foreign operations, particularly China, as well as productivity and margin enhancement initiatives, in spite of the economic downturn and sharply rising costs for steel and copper," said Paul W. Jones, chairman and CEO. "But we are concerned about the dramatic rise in raw material costs and the prospect that they may persist for the remainder of the year. As a result, we will look to our customers to absorb the impact of these increases.”
Sales of $352.1 million in the Water Products business were slightly lower than sales of $355.4 million in the first quarter of last year. Electrical Products reported sales of $220.5 million, slightly lower than in the first quarter of 2007.
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