Honeywell Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises 13.8%

Diversified manufacturer Honeywell International said on Friday that quarterly profit rose 13.8% on strong demand for its airplane components and systems used in commercial construction.

Fourth-quarter earnings increased to $585 million, or 72 cents a diluted share, compared with $514 million, or 61 cents a diluted share, a year earlier.

Stock analysts, on average, expected profit of 72 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue rose 13.8% to $8.28 billion from $7.28 billion.

"Sales modestly beat our forecast in all four reporting segments," wrote Citigroup analyst Jeffrey Sprague in a note to clients.

In addition to airplane electronics, the Morris Township, N.J.-based Honeywell makes thermostats and other systems used in controlling commercial and residential buildings, as well as automotive components and specialty chemicals.

"Despite our forecast for modest softening in global economic conditions, we believe that favorable macro trends and demand for differentiated technologies, products and services
provide opportunities for sustained growth at Honeywell," said David Cote, the chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

Honeywell officials have warned repeatedly in recent months that they see signs the U.S. economy is slowing down, with particular weakness in the housing market. But they contend
they will be able to offset any effects of a cooling domestic market by boosting foreign sales.

Separately, the company said it expects to report first-quarter profit of 60 cents to 62 cents a share on revenue of $7.7 billion. Analysts, on average, expect first-quarter profit of 63 cents a share on revenue of $7.67 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company confirmed its 2007 profit forecast of $2.85 to $2.95 a share. Analysts, on average, looked for $2.93 a share, according to Thomson Financial.

"We have a bias toward the high end of our 2007 EPS range," said Dave Anderson, chief financial officer, on a conference call with analysts.

Honeywell shares rose 10.6% in the fourth quarter, ahead of the 6.7% gain in the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average, of which it is a component.

The company hosted a webcast at 8 am New York time.