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Jim Cramer took the time to sit down with the CEO of what he considers is one of the best run companies in America to take the pulse of the economy and find out where it is headed.
Honeywell International is a diversified industrial company that makes aerospace components, security equipment, turbochargers and more. The company has businesses spanning the globe in practically every major market, and Cramer says its CEO, Dave Cote, is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people on the economy.
And according to Cote, Honeywell has a plethora of new products that will go around the world in almost every single business.
"When I go back 13 years ago, we had just an empty pipeline. Now every single business has great new products…and a lot of it is software based," Cote said.
The most exciting products that Cote cited will change the way that consumers interact with their home. The company employs 22,000 engineers, and while most may think of Honeywell shipping things like engines, turbochargers and chemicals, more than half of its engineers are dedicated to developing software.
Cote believes that consumers will start to take control of their home, and the things in it, via connectivity. He sees a future of homes, buildings, planes, factories and even workers that are connected through technology.
"But like with a lot of things, though, it is important for a company to be smart about it. It is very easy to get caught up in the trend and just say 'okay the trend is right, the trend is good' and then just spend whatever you can," Cote added.
At the end of the day, he thinks everything will be connected in some way. And while he thinks Honeywell has taken a smart approach thus far, it is important for companies to approach this trend with prudence.
One of the biggest competitors in the market for Honeywell right now is China. It has become a powerhouse because of the ability to create competition between the industry players in the People's Republic.
"...Over the last 20 or 30 years [China has] moved from being No. 20 to No. 2. They could become No. 1 very easily this century if they keep playing things right," he added.
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With the global phenomenon of connectivity in all aspects of consumers lives, along with lower gasoline—Cote thinks this year could be a better year than he has seen in the last five years.
In fact, for the past four years Cote has been more bearish than most analysts, with exception of this year.
"I'm still running the place conservatively because I could be wrong, and I don't get paid to be an economist; I get paid to make the right call. So I'm going to make sure that I'm still conservative. But I think the effect of lower oil prices, especially in any oil-importing country will put a lot of money in consumer pockets," Cote said.