ITT provides 2009 outlook, reaffirms 2008 full-year guidance
* Dividend increase recommended for 2009
* Share repurchase program extended
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - ITT Corporation (NYSE: ITT) today announced its full-year 2009 earnings forecast in the range of $3.60 to $4.00 per share, including anticipated restructuring costs. The company expects organic revenue will be in a range of up one to down two percent compared to anticipated 2008 revenue. Including the expected negative impact of foreign currency exchange, total revenue is anticipated to be down between two and six percent.
Also today, ITT reaffirmed its current year earnings guidance from continuing operations, excluding special items, of $3.97-$4.03 per share, representing growth of approximately 22 percent over the prior year.
“Given the challenging global economic environment that has worsened in recent months, we have taken a number of proactive measures to better position the company to weather the anticipated difficult year ahead,” said Steve Loranger, chairman, president and chief executive officer, ITT. “We expect these actions – in addition to our strong balance sheet, continued focus on operational excellence, and positive outlook for the defense segment – will provide stability and help us to perform relatively well in the coming year.”
In 2009, ITT expects its Defense Electronics & Services segment to grow organic revenue approximately five percent on projected strength in both its products and services businesses. Organic revenue in the Fluid Technology segment is expected to decline approximately four percent on softening municipal and commercial end markets. In the Motion & Flow Control segment, the company expects 2009 organic revenues to be down approximately 15 percent, due in part to projected weakness in automotive, marine, and certain industrial end-markets.
Dividend Increase Recommended
In addition to guidance, ITT executive management announced it would recommend a dividend of 85 cents per share for 2009, representing an increase of approximately 22 percent over the 2008 dividend. The recommendation is subject to Board approval at its February 2009 meeting.
“Our people are executing well against our strategies and staying focused on the customer during this difficult time,” said Loranger. “Our ability to meet our 2008 targets despite significant challenges and recommend a substantial dividend increase is testament to the fundamental strength of ITT, the quality of our global teams, and our long-term confidence in the business.”
Share Repurchase Program Extended
Separately, ITT’s Board today approved the extension of the company’s $1 billion share repurchase program for an indefinite period of time. ITT has purchased approximately $431 million of outstanding common stock since announcing the program in October 2006. Prior to this extension, the program was set to expire November 2009.
“During these volatile times, we intend to remain focused on preserving liquidity,” said Denise Ramos, senior vice president and chief financial officer, ITT. “The extension of the repurchase program, coupled with ITT’s strong free cash flow generation, gives us the flexibility to continue improving our net debt position, while maintaining strategic investments in our long-term growth.”
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