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Johnson Controls Earnings Grow 18 Percent

Diversified manufacturer Johnson Controls on Tuesday forecast double-digit sales and earnings increases in its new fiscal year, driven by international demand, growth in building markets, and expanding profit margins.

The company, which makes auto parts and heating and cooling systems for buildings, said it expected earnings of $2.45 to $2.50 per share from continuing operations for the year ending next September, up about 18 percent from fiscal 2007.

Analysts were looking for the Milwaukee-based company to earn $2.50 this fiscal year, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of Johnson Controls were down about 2.5 percent at $39.18 in trading before the market opened.

Johnson Controls forecast a 10 percent sales increase to about $38 billion this year, above analysts' expectations of $36.9 billion.

The company, which also produces automotive batteries, affirmed its earnings estimate of 77 cents to 78 cents a share from continuing operations for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30. Analysts were expecting 78 cents.

For the just-ended year, Johnson Controls backed its profit outlook of $2.08 to $2.10 a share, excluding a nonrecurring tax benefit of 6 cents. Wall Street was expecting $2.10.

All outlooks reflect this month's 3-for-1 stock split.