Johnson Controls

(FNM)

posted a rise in second-quarter earnings and boosted second-half guidance.

For the quarter ended March 31, the Milwaukee-based facility management company made $162 million, or 83 cents a share, from continuing operations. That's up from the year-ago $54 million, or 28 cents a share, and 8 cents ahead of the Thomson Financial estimate. Sales rose to $8.17 billion from $6.9 billion a year ago.

"The quarterly operating performance was in line with our expectations," said CEO John Barth. "Our strategies for profitable growth and disciplined approach to cost reduction and quality improvements continue to enable us to achieve our financial commitments. We remain confident that we will extend our track record for consecutive years of record sales and earnings in 2006."

Johnson Controls forecast that its diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for 2006 would be in a range of $5.25 - $5.35, including a roughly 23-cent-a-share benefit from the lower effective tax rate. The company previously provided earnings guidance of $5 to $5.15 per share from continuing operations. Sales expectations for the year are unchanged at $32 billion.

For the third quarter of 2006 the company anticipates diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.65 to $1.70, an increase of 26% to 30% over the $1.31 per share earned in the third quarter of 2005. Analysts were looking for $1.58 for the quarter and $5.02 for the year.

Johnson Controls said the expected substantial increase in earnings in the second half of 2006 is primarily attributable to its building efficiency business, reflecting the absence of York acquisition accounting costs, the positive seasonality of the air conditioning industry and increased customer demand. The company said it also expects a continued strong performance by its European interiors and power solutions businesses.