Diversified U.S. manufacturer SPX Corp expects profit to fall sharply in the first quarter, weighed down by weak demand for power transformers, with recovery starting in the second half of the year.

The maker of industrial equipment on Thursday set a first-quarter profit target of 20 cents to 30 cents per share, which would be down from last year's reported 76 cents, with revenue seen declining 6 percent to 9 percent.

Analysts on average look for first-quarter profit of 27 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In slides posted to its website ahead of a conference call with investors, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company also said it expected demand for its products to bottom out in the first half of 2010, with recovery beginning in the second half.