Margins Boost Honeywell Profit, Earnings Forecast

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Honeywell International reported a first-quarter profit above analysts' expectations on Friday, and raised the lower end of its full-year earnings forecast as margins improved.

The company, which makes cockpit electronics and systems to manage the security of large buildings, now expects to earn at least $4.80 per share in 2013, above its prior forecast of at least $4.75. It maintained the top end of its forecast at $4.95.

Following the report, Honeywell stock ticked higher Friday. (Click here to track the company's shares.)

Honeywell, based in Morris Township, New Jersey, has been trying to boost productivity across its four divisions and is consolidating its businesses in a slow-growth economy.

First-quarter revenue was flat at $9.33 billion. Gross margins, however, rose to 16.2 percent from 15.2 a year earlier.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $966 million, or $1.21 per share, in the quarter ended March, from $823 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected earnings of $1.14 per share on revenue of $9.44 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Honeywell shares have gained more than 20 percent in the last 12 months and have outperformed the wider S&P 500 index, which has risen about 11 percent.