Diversified U.S.manufacturer Honeywell International Friday posted profit that topped Wall Street's expectations, as strong growth outside the United States overshadowed weak demand for consumer products such as thermostats and antifreeze.
The company, whose shares rose 4 percent in early trading, said profit rose 22 percent on strong demand from the aviation and commercial construction sectors.
"We're well positioned to execute and deliver results in a tougher macroeconomic environment," said Chairman and Chief Executive Dave Cote, on a conference call with investors. "Despite pockets of softness in selected end markets, our portfolio overall remains strong."
Honeywell cited Asia and the Middle East as "leading the way" in growth and noted that two-thirds of its 10.6 percent revenue rise came outside the United States.
Shares of the world's largest maker of cockpit electronics rose 3.7 percent on the news, on a day that Caterpillar also reported better-than-expected results, helping to ease investor anxiety after last week's stunning earnings drop at General Electric .
Caterpillar also cited international growth as key to its strong first quarter.
Profit Tops Estimates
Honeywell, which also makes thermostats and other control systems for large commercial buildings, reported a first-quarter profit of $643 million, or 85 cents per diluted share, compared with $526 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average expected a profit of 82 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue at the company came to $8.9 billion, up 10.6 percent from $8 billion a year earlier.
"The results handily beat our segment profit estimate with across the board upside growth," wrote JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa, in a note to clients. "Sales growth was stronger in each segment."
Honeywell raised the low end of its full-year profit outlook by a nickel and expects earnings of $3.70 to $3.80 per share. The company also set a second-quarter earnings target of 92 cents to 94 cents per share on sales of about $9.2 billion.
Wall Street expects a second-quarter profit of 93 cents per share and full-year earnings of $3.76 per share.
Honeywell's results have been boosted of late by robust demand for aircraft as well as continued strong investment in airports, refineries and other infrastructure projects, particularly in the the developing world.
The fastest profit growth came at Honeywell's specialty materials arm, where earnings were up 38 percent. That unit, which makes resins, specialty films and materials for petroleum refining was boosted by pricing and productivity gains, the company said.
Shares of Morris Township, New Jersey-based Honeywell, which also makes automotive turbochargers and consumer products such as antifreeze, rose 4 percent to $59.71 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Publisher Dow Jones in February dropped Honeywell from its 30-member Dow Jones industrial average, the oldest and most-watched gauge of stock performance in the world.