(Rewrites first paragraph to focus on outlook, adds analyst
comments, estimates, updates shares)
Jan 18 Johnson Controls Inc forecast a
smaller-than-expected profit for the current quarter due to
lower auto production in Europe, sending the company's shares
down more than 3 percent.
The company, the largest U.S. auto parts supplier, forecast
a fiscal second-quarter profit of 40 cents to 42 cents per
share, short of analysts' expectations of 51 cents, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"The forecast reflects the current European automotive
production environment and short-term delays in flexing labor in
the region," the company said on Friday.
Johnson Controls' stock was down 3.3 percent to $30.91 on
the New York Stock Exchange. Shares fell even as the company
posted a slightly better-than-expected profit in its fiscal
The company in October said weaker business in Europe would
reduce its first-half profit significantly. Restructuring
actions initiated in the latter part of 2012 are expected to
boost profit in the second half.
Johnson Controls, which makes car interiors and batteries,
maintained its fiscal 2013 outlook of higher profit and sales.
Citi analyst Itay Michaeli said the second-quarter forecast
suggested Johnson Control would earn 65 percent of its annual
profit in the second half of the year, about 10 percentage
points higher than in the last two years.
"Given the current demand environment and the operational
pressures the company is facing in Europe, we believe the risks
around this outlook are elevated and investors could avoid
shares in the near term as this is discounted," Baird analyst
David Leiker said in a research note.
In its fiscal first quarter, ended Dec. 31, Johnson Controls
earned $354 million, or 52 cents per share, compared with $424
million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts
expected 51 cents.
Revenue rose marginally to $10.42 billion. Analysts on
average had estimated revenue of $10.26 billion.
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore and Deepa
Seetharaman in Detroit; Editing by Maju Samuel)