* Adjusted profit of $1.10 per share tops $1.09 consensus
* Revenue up 1 percent; performance materials a boost
* Sees first-quarter profit up 6 percent to 11 percent
Jan 25 Honeywell International Inc
posted fourth-quarter earnings just above Wall Street estimates,
reflecting the diversified U.S. manufacturer's campaign to boost
profit margins in the face of sluggish sales growth.
The maker of cockpit electronics and systems to manage the
climate and security of large buildings confirmed its 2013
profit forecast on Friday and said it expected earnings to rise
6 percent to 11 percent in the first quarter.
"It is just too early to tell what direction the economy is
going," said Chief Executive Officer David Cote, who has been
one of the loudest voices in corporate America calling on policy
leaders in Washington to address the nation's rising debt load.
"Big democracies around the world are still in gridlock over
debt, and the U.S. is kicking the debt can down the road and
finding that kick doesn't quite go as far as it used to."
Honeywell said earnings came to $251 million, or 32 cents
per share, in the fourth quarter. For the year-earlier period,
the company booked a loss of $310 million, or 40 cents per
Factoring out accounting items related to the company's
pension plan, the profit was $1.10 per share, topping the
analysts' average forecast of $1.09, according to Thomson
Honeywell shares were up 0.5 percent at $68.57 in early
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Overall profit margins rose to 15.6 percent of sales from
15.1 percent a year earlier as Cote has been pushing to boost
productivity across the company's four divisions, including
consolidating businesses into fewer locations.
Revenue rose 1 percent to $9.58 billion from $9.47 billion a
The company's performance materials unit, whose products
include chemicals and equipment used in oil and gas production,
notched the strongest sales growth in the quarter, up 8 percent.
At the transportation systems unit, which makes products that
include automobile turbochargers, sales fell 11 percent,
reflecting weak European demand.
The Morris Township, New Jersey-based company affirmed its
2013 profit forecast of $4.75 to $4.95 per share.
At Thursday's close, Honeywell shares had risen about 18.5
percent over the past year, outpacing the 13.6 percent rise of
the broad Standard & Poor's 500 index.