April 22, 2009 / 12:24 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 2-Ingersoll-Rand loss is narrower than expected

* Q1 loss $0.04 ex-items; loss of $0.15 expected

* Revenue $2.93 bln

* Sees 2009 EPS from cont ops $1.40 to $1.90

* Shares rise more than 7 pct in premarket trading

(Adds detail on segment performance)

NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - Ingersoll-Rand Co IR.N, a maker of climate-control systems, posted a quarterly loss narrower than Wall Street had expected, citing improved productivity and cost-cutting, sending shares up 7.6 percent in early trading.

Ingersoll on Wednesday reported a net loss of $26.7 million, or 8 cents per share, compared with a profit of $181.6 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs, the company lost 4 cents per share, which was less than analysts’ average forecast for a loss of 15 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Pro-forma revenue, which reflects last year’s purchase of air conditioner maker Trane, fell 24 percent to $2.93 billion. Wall Street had forecast $2.97 billion. International sales fell more steeply than U.S. sales.

In late March, the company warned about profit for the quarter and full year, citing an accelerated decline in demand.

Ingersoll’s biggest segment, air conditioning systems and services, reported an 18 percent decline in pro-forma revenues and posted an operating loss. The results reflected weaker commercial demand, amid a downturn in non-residential construction, as well as ongoing weakness in U.S. housing.

Meanwhile, a weak global truck market, less demand for ocean shipping containers, and spending cuts by supermarkets reduced sales and profit margins in the climate control technologies segment.

Ingersoll said its productivity improvements were running ahead of plan and it has expanded efforts to cut costs. The company has cut 2,700 jobs since the fourth quarter and closed 34 facilities. (Reporting by Nick Zieminski; editing by John Wallace, Dave Zimmerman)

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