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Rockwell is continuing to aggressively invest to expand its overseas growth opportunities and new product developments and does not plan to slow investments despite slightly larger-than-expected foreign-exchange headwinds now expected in fiscal 2014.
Regionally, the United States remains strong, led by oil-and-gas and consumer sales; Canada is flat because of natural resource market weakness; Europe, Middle East, and Africa is achieving low growth, primarily because of market share gains; Asia-Pacific is stable, but India is soft but offset by China; Latin America is mixed.
End-markets are also mixed, with automotive at high levels but not much growth, and tire is growing solidly (especially OEMs); food and beverage are leading consumer (particularly in China); oil and gas continues to grow (not Canada) with NOCs strongest offshore; mining and metals remain very subdued.
Rockwell recently adjusted its organic growth to 3.5%-6.5% from 3%-6% for fiscal 2014 (September), which is being offset by a 1% currency headwind; segment operating profit margins are expected to average about 20%, up 50 basis points from fiscal 2013.
Rockwell believes its best outgrowth opportunities are in process, OEMs, emerging markets, safety, and services. New opportunities include industrial network infrastructure, industrial security, remote automation and monitoring, active energy management, industrial intelligence, unified communications (voice, data, and video), and business analytics for automation.
Current tailwinds (old automation installed base, quest for higher productivity, U.S. natural gas production, rising emerging-market middle class, wage inflation, and need for Connected Enterprise) far offset headwinds (overcapacity in metals, geopolitical risk, and weak commodity prices).
Rockwell is strategically well positioned to benefit from rising demand for productivity, flexibility, and safety and rising environmental sustainability in developed markets, while steadily rising infrastructure and growing middle class in emerging economies drive consumer product demand.