Honeywell net income surges to $947m
New York, January 25, 2014
Honeywell International reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue yesterday, as sales grew across its major segments.
The diversified US manufacturer of aerospace parts and climate control systems backed its 2014 financial targets, set last month, but forecast first-quarter earnings below Wall Street's estimates.
"While we think it's prudent to remain cautious on the global economy at this time, we're increasingly confident in our 2014 outlook based on the momentum from the fourth quarter," chief executive Dave Cote said.
Edward Jones analyst Christian Mayes characterised the results as a "pretty good quarter," and said investors would likely now focus on the company's investor day in March, when Honeywell is expected to reveal five-year financial targets.
"That's where the focus, where the stock, is going to go," said Mayes, who rates the shares a "buy."
"People will probably be excited about the numbers that will be revealed, given their history of doing so well and meeting the last targets."
Honeywell's fourth-quarter net income rose to $947 million, or $1.19 per share. That is up considerably from $251million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier, when the company recorded a large pension expense.
Excluding one-time items, Honeywell's earnings of $1.24 per share beat the average estimate of analysts by three cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue increased eight per cent to $10.39 billion, nearly $200 million ahead of estimates.
In its two largest segments, aerospace and automation and control solutions, profit rose 6 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively. Earnings increased 30 per cent in its smaller performance materials and technologies segment, whose products include chemicals used in oil and gas production.
Analysts were also impressed with the performance of the company's relatively small transportation systems business, which makes turbochargers and where profit soared 41 per cent.
Honeywell said earlier this month it was selling its friction materials business, which makes brake pads, to Federal Mogul Corporation for about $155 million.
Edward Jones' Mayes said transportation systems could have higher profit margins after the sale of the friction materials business.
Honeywell confirmed its 2014 financial targets, which include 8 per cent to 10 per cent growth in earnings per share and a 3 per cent to 4 per cent increase in sales.
However, the company forecast first-quarter earnings in a range of $1.23 to $1.27 per share, below Wall Street's expectation of $1.29. Honeywell shares rose 42 per cent in 2013, outpacing the broader markets.-Reuters