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fourth-quarter earnings rose 3% from a year ago on a 7% rise in sales, benefiting from customer projects such as the



7E7 Dreamliner.



component earned $419 million, or 49 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with earnings of $407 million, or 47 cents a share, last year. Revenue was $6.64 billion in the most recent quarter compared with $6.19 billion a year ago. Analysts were predicting earnings of 49 cents a share on revenue of $6.66 billion.

Honeywell said aerospace sales rose 7% from a year ago to $2.52 billion, while margins in the segment swelled to 16.9% from 15.9%. Sales in automation and control systems rose 4% from last year to $2.12 billion, and margins dipped to 12.1% from 12.3%. In specialty materials, sales rose 9% to $864 million, while in transportation systems sales rose 13% to $1.13 billion.

For 2005, the company expects to earn $1.95 to $2.05 a share, citing strong order rates and a lower-than-expected noncash pension expense. The Wall Street consensus is $1.98 a share.