Honeywell 2Q Profit Rises 18 pct, Boosts View

July 18, 2008 6:03:24 AM PDT
Honeywell International Inc. said Friday that its second quarter earnings rose 18 percent, driven by higher profits in its aerospace and building control systems businesses. It also raised its forecast for the year. Its shares rose almost 4 percent in premarket trading.

The Morristown, N.J.-based diversified manufacturer earned $723 million, or 96 cents per share, beating Wall Street forecasts for the quarter ending June 30. It earned $611 million, or 78 cents per share, a year ago.

Sales rose 13 percent to $9.67 billion from $8.54 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 94 cents per share on $9 billion in revenue.

Honeywell has also boosted its forecast for 2008 by 5 cents per share to a range of $3.75 to $3.85 per share. Company CEO Dave Cote said he expects the company to post double-digit earnings growth in the second half of the year.

"Our businesses are well positioned with the long-term macro trends, such as safety, security, energy efficiency and energy generation," Cote said.

Honeywell, which makes airplane and aviation equipment, building controls such as fire prevention equipment and specialty chemical materials, has largely avoided much of the macroeconomic problems faced recently by large manufacturers. Much of its sales are abroad, helping it weather the U.S. economic downturn, and the company has said higher energy prices have actually helped with sales of building temperature control equipment as customers look for ways to save energy.

The company has also trimmed some of its businesses, selling part of its aerospace production unit to B/E Aerospace Inc. for $1.05 billion in the quarter. Analysts have said such restructuring has helped Honeywell save money.

Aerospace sales were up 8 percent, with the biggest gain coming in Honeywell's defense and space units. Sales jumped 19 percent in the automation and control solutions unit, much of the increase from growth from acquisitions and divestitures, along with positive impacts from currency exchanges.

Its shares rose $1.94, or 3.8 percent, to $52.80 in premarket trading.