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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Heavy duty engine maker Eaton Corp. had operating earnings per share of US$1.40 during the fourth quarter of 2000, 12 per cent below one year earlier.

Sales in the quarter were US$2.14 billion, 3 per cent below last year. Net income before unusual items was US$98 million versus last year’s US$119 million.

Net income, including restructuring charges in both years and a gain on the sale of a business in 1999, was US$84 million, or US$1.20 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2000 compared to US$224 million, or US$2.98 per share, for the comparable quarter of 1999.

Sales and operating earnings per share for the full year 2000 were at record levels. Net income before non-recurring items reached US$473 million, or US$6.52 per share, on sales of US$8.99 billion. Comparable 1999 earnings were US$439 million, or US$5.95 per share, on sales of US$8.40 billion. Including all unusual items, earnings reached US$6.24 per share in 2000 compared to US$8.36 per share in 1999.

Alexander M. Cutler, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased to report fourth quarter results in line with our expectations and those of the investment community, despite the increasingly challenging economic environment. As promised, Eaton delivered record operating earnings per share this year despite the severe downturn in the North American heavy truck market. This is a first. Our diversification paid off again in the fourth quarter, with notable performances by our Industrial & Commercial Controls and Fluid Power segments offsetting extraordinarily difficult conditions in Truck Components. We achieved a fourth quarter consolidated operating margin of 10 per cent.”

Fourth quarter automotive component sales were US$428 million, 6 per cent below one year earlier, in large part because of the weak euro exchange rate.

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