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Honeywell profit beats forecasts but sales miss

Tags: Honeywell
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Honeywell International Inc. (HON-N) reported a quarterly profit on Friday that slightly topped analyst estimates after adjusting for pension expenses but sales missed forecasts as the strong U.S. dollar reduced the value of overseas sales.

The maker of products ranging from cockpit electronics to control systems for large buildings repeated its 2012 profit forecast but said growth would moderate in the first half of the year and that soft European economies were affecting some of its businesses. The company generates about 29 percent of total sales from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

A large pension adjustment pushed net results to a quarterly loss of $307 million US, or 40 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $369 million, or 47 cents per share.

Excluding the pension item, Honeywell earned $1.05 a share, 1 cent ahead of the analysts' average forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose 8 percent to $9.47 billion, below Wall Street estimates of $9.56 billion.

A number of companies, including others in the manufacturing sector, have been beating profit estimates this quarter, but missing on revenue.

Revenue was up 4 percent to $4.05 billion in the automation and building controls segment, the company's biggest, as acquisitions offset the hit from a stronger dollar. The segment, which is exposed to still-weak U.S. commercial and residential construction, missed several analysts' sales forecasts.

The Morris Township, New Jersey-based company, whose rivals include Invensys, ABB, and Siemens, reaffirmed its 2012 outlook for earnings between $4.25 and $4.50 a share, compared with Wall Street estimates of $4.44 a share.

Whether the company reaches the low or the high end of the range depends on global economic growth, the resilience of emerging markets, raw materials inflation and the value of the dollar, Honeywell said in presentation materials ahead of its earnings conference call.

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