Honeywell International Inc. (HON) rose Friday, April 20, after topping profit estimates and raising full-year forecast due to strength in its aerospace business.
Honeywell, which makes products including jet engines and thermostats, now expects full-year earnings between $7.85 to $8.05 a share, above its previous forecast of $7.75 to $8.00. The company also raised its full-year sales guidance to $42.7 billion to $43.5 billion, up from $41.8 billion to $42.5 billion.
The Morris Plains, N.J.-based industrial giant reported a profit of $1.89 per share for the first quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, earnings came in at $1.95 per share, topping analysts' predictions of $1.90. Revenue of $10.39 billion also beat forecasts of $10.02 billion.
Shares of Action Alerts PLUS holding Honeywell rose about 0.5% to $148.90 at 11:00 a.m. New York time.
"Organic sales grew 5%, driven by strong demand for original equipment for commercial aviation; U.S. defense; continued sales and orders growth in the warehouse automation business, Intelligrated; and short-cycle demand in process automation," Chief Executive Officer Darius Adamczyk said in a statement. "Our balance sheet remains strong, and we continue to aggressively deploy capital."
Aerospace sales for the first quarter rose 8% on an organic basis "driven by growth in commercial [original equipment] and U.S. defense, and strength in light vehicle gas and commercial vehicle turbocharges in Transportations Systems," the company said.
"Not only did this figure come in well above management's previous full-year guide of 1% to 3%, but it also represents a solid acceleration from the fourth quarter's organic growth rate of 5%," TheStreet's Jim Cramer said in a note to AAP subscribers, noting that management increased its aerospace organic sales guidance to 3% to 5%.
"We will look for Honeywell to continue to hit this number (with upside) in future quarters due to the growing U.S. Defense market, bounce back in business aviation, as well as its key business relationship with Boeing Co. (BA) ," Cramer and the AAP team added.
Separately, fellow industrial conglomerate General Electric Co. (GE) touted strength in its Aviation unit. Orders for GE's aviation unit rose 13% to $8.1 billion. Segment profit surged 28% to $1.6 billion.
Honeywell CEO Adamczyk said the company is making great progress in transforming the industrial conglomerate into a software-industrial leader. He also said the preparations to spin-off Honeywell's Transportation Systems and Homes businesses are moving forward and he expects those to be complete by the end of the year.
The company agreed in October to spin off its homes and global distributions units and its transportation business by the end of 2018. The spin-off announcement occurred after an activist, Third Point's Dan Loeb, in April launched a campaign urging Honeywell to spin off its aerospace unit, which he said at the time would result in an increase in shareholder value in excess of $20 billion. Even though Honeywell didn't take that action the spin-off move pleased Loeb, who said in a statement that he agreed that Honeywell should narrow its business focus.
-- Ron Orol contributed to this report.
-- This story has been updated to include Jim Cramer and the AAP team's comments.