Honeywell 1Q Earnings Jump 22 Percent

Honeywell International Inc. said Wednesday its first-quarter earnings jumped 22 percent, boosted by a stronger performance in its aerospace and automation and control businesses.

The diversified manufacturer said net income increased to $436 million, or 52 cents per share, from $358 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Sixteen analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had predicted net income of 49 cents per share, and sales of $7.18 billion.

Sales grew 12 percent to $7.24 billion from $6.45 billion in the year-earlier period due to growth across most segments, including a 5 percent gain in aerospace and a 19 percent rise in automation and control solutions, which include building security devices and thermostats.

Sales in Honeywell's smaller, specialty materials division, which includes refrigerants and electronic materials, increased 44 percent over the prior year due to acquisitions.

"Honeywell is off to a terrific start," said Chairman and CEO Dave Cote in a conference call with analysts Wednesday morning. "We said we wanted to have great positions in good industries. You're really starting to see the benefits in both that positioning and the growth and productivity plans we put in place."

Cote reiterated his outlook of 25 percent to 30 percent earnings growth in 2006.

Shares of Honeywell fell 25 cents to $43.91 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.


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