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Fortive forecasts upbeat annual results on industrial automation demand

(Reuters) - Industrial conglomerate Fortive forecast its annual profit and revenue above estimates on Wednesday, benefiting from a rise in companies increasing spending on automation amid a tight labor market. The company, which sells software and services for asset management, expects 2024 adjusted earnings per share between $3.73 and $3.85 ahead of LSEG estimates of $3.68 per share. Companies across North America have been investing in revamping and automating their facilities to reduce their labor costs in a right market. Fortive, which operates through its subsidiaries, expects full-year revenue between $6.4 and $6.5 billion, also above Wall Street expectations. The company said it had recently discovered one of its subsidiaries, Gems Setra, which provides sensing and monitoring technologies, had made incorrect representations to win specific contracts from the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The Everett, Washington-based company said it had voluntarily notified the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General and the DLA of this matter. It does not expect the discovery to have a "material adverse effect." In the fourth quarter, Fortive reported that profit rose to $265.2 million, or $0.75 per share, from $227.2 million, or $0.64 per share, a year earlier. Quarterly revenue rose 4% to $1.58 billion.

(Reporting by Anandita Mehrotra in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)