Emerson raises annual sales forecast in bets on automation demand

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The company said it now expects net sales growth of 8%-10%, higher than its previous forecast of 7% to 9%.

Companies across North America are rushing to automate their assembly lines amid a shortage of workers, benefiting companies like Emerson that caters to sectors from utility and mining to chemicals and automotive.

Emerson has struck a string of deals over the last few years to turn into a provider of automation products and services, and recently disclosed a hostile $7 billion bid for National Instruments (NASDAQ:NATI) Corp to strengthen that business.

The company’s net income rose to $2.33 billion, or $3.97 per share, in the first quarter ended Dec. 31, from $896 million, or $1.50 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company reported a profit of 78 cents per share, compared with analysts’ estimate of 87 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue rose 7% to $3.37 billion, compared with estimates of $3.43 billion.