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Sweet, Sweet Honeywell

It beats first-quarter numbers and raises guidance.
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Honeywell (HON) - Get Honeywell International Inc. Report beat first-quarter earnings estimates and raised full-year guidance.

The Morris Township, N.J., conglomerate made $526 million, or 66 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31, up from the year-ago $436 million, or 52 cents a share. Sales rose to $8.04 billion from $7.24 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 62-cent profit on sales of $7.72 billion.

Cash flow from operations soared to $578 million from the year-ago $239 million, and free cash flow -- cash flow from operations less capital expenditures -- more than tripled to $458 million from $117 million last year. The company repurchased more than 25 million shares of stock in the quarter, reducing its average fully diluted share count to 802 million shares.

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"Honeywell had a terrific start to 2007 with strong sales, double-digit earnings growth and higher free cash flow," said CEO Dave Cote. "Our great positions in good industries and global presence helped drive organic growth in each of our businesses. While we are maintaining a conservative view of global growth this year, we are increasing our full-year financial guidance to reflect strong first quarter performance and continued confidence in our businesses for the remainder of 2007."

Honeywell is increasing its previously stated 2007 sales guidance by $700 million to $33.5 billion, its earnings per share range by 15 cents to $3.00-$3.10 and its free cash flow range by $100 million to $2.6-$2.8 billion (cash flow from operations of $3.4 to 3.6 billion).