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Clarcor Q1 Profit Rises - Update

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Air filter maker Clarcor Inc. (CLC: Quote), Wednesday reported a 7 percent increase in first-quarter profit, as revenues grew at the engine/mobile filtration and industrial/environmental filtration segments. Nevertheless, both earnings and revenues fell short of analysts' expectations.

Net sales at Engine/Mobile Filtration segment increased 8 percent, driven mainly by higher heavy-duty engine filter sales. Sales grew 12 percent domestically and 3 percent outside the US despite a 15 percent decline in China.

Industrial/Environmental Filtration unit sales advanced 8 percent, driven mainly by higher natural gas vessel sales. Sales outside US dropped 4 percent due mainly to lower sales from Europe impacted by continuing issues with the eurozone economies.

Packaging segment sales dropped 29 percent, due mainly to lower confection packaging sales, smokeless tobacco packaging sales and lower sales in other markets.

Clarcor, which makes air and fluid filters for engines and buildings, said net sales for the quarter grew 5 percent to $257.26 million from a year ago, but were below analysts' estimate of $267.93 million for the quarter.

The Franklin, Tennessee-headquartered company's attributable net income for the first quarter improved to $23.48 million or $0.46 per share from $21.88 million or $0.43 per share last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.47 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Operating margin, or operating profit as a percentage of sales, improved to 13.3 percent from 12.7 percent last year.

Looking forward to the full year 2012, the company affirmed its earnings guidance range of $2.55 to $2.70 per share. Analysts currently expect earnings of $2.68 per share for the year.

Nonetheless, the company lowered its total sales growth estimate to a range of 5.5 to 7.5 percent, from the prior range of 6.0 to 8.0 percent.

CLC closed Wednesday's trading on the NYSE at $50.49, up 0.08%, on a volume of 0.2 million shares. The stock lost 0.02% in after-hours trade.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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