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UPDATE 1-Honeywell says Europe, China orders weaken in quarter
* Third-quarter U.S. orders better than expected
* CFO expects 2013 to be "a tough year"
Sept 14 (Reuters) - Honeywell International Inc has experienced weaker-than-expected order rates in Europe and China over the past few months, but believes both markets are beginning to stabilize, a top executive told investors on Friday.
Still, the diversified U.S. manufacturer expects to have a challenging time maintaining its pace of growth next year, after seeing profit rise 14 percent through the first half of 2012.
Analysts, on average, expect 11 percent profit growth in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"2013, for us, we think is going to be a tough year, a tough year because of macro conditions and also because we had such a strong performance in the first half of 2012," Chief Financial Officer Dave Anderson said.
Honeywell has forecast full-year 2012 profit to rise by 9 to 12 percent on 3 to 5 percent revenue growth.
Weaker-than-expected order rates in Europe and China have been offset by better-than-forecast orders in the United States so far this quarter, Anderson said.
"Europe has been a slugfest, it's been a real challenge for us on the short-cycle side," he said, referring to products such as chemicals that are ordered shortly before they are needed. "The U.S. has been relatively stronger."
The company, based in Morris, New Jersey, believes that demand in Europe and China is leveling off.
"We don't see Europe getting much worse. What we're seeing is stability in terms of that end market," Anderson said. "In China, we think we've seen the down (side) and we're seeing stability."
Honeywell shares were up 20 cents at $61.32 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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