Honeywell International's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Honeywell International (HON)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 20, 2012 9:30 am ET


Elena Doom -

David M. Cote - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

David James Anderson - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President


Scott R. Davis - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Shannon O'Callaghan - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Jeffrey T. Sprague - Vertical Research Partners Inc.

Peter J. Arment - Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., Research Division

Deane M. Dray - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Nigel Coe - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Howard A. Rubel - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Steven E. Winoker - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Elana Hordon Wood - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Unknown Analyst



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Honeywell's First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Elena Doom, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Elena Doom

Thank you, Stephanie. Good morning, and welcome to Honeywell's First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Here with me today are Chairman and CEO, Dave Cote; and Senior Vice President and CFO, Dave Anderson. This call and this webcast, including any non-GAAP reconciliations, are available on our website at Note that elements of today's presentation do contain forward-looking statements that are based on our best view of the world and of our businesses as we see them today. Those elements can change, and we would ask that you interpret them in that light. We also identify the principal risks and uncertainties that affect our performance in our Form 10-K and other SEC filings.

This morning, we will review our financial results for the first quarter of 2012, as well as share with you our outlook for the second quarter and updated full year 2012 and, of course, allow time for your questions.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Dave Cote.

David M. Cote

What a wonderful start to 2012. We had better-than-expected performance across a number of our different businesses, driving EPS above the top end of our guidance range, and it is great to start with such a nice burst of cabbage.

Sales were strong at $9.3 billion, representing 7% reported growth, and that's on top of good growth last year. Organic growth of 6% was also strong. This performance in a more challenging macro environment underscores the value of the diversity of opportunity across our businesses, short- and long-cycle exposure, our products and services and geographies. As expected, our short-cycle businesses posted slower growth this quarter, particularly in Europe and, to a lesser extent, China. However, our long-cycle businesses, particularly Commercial Aerospace and UOP, overdrove expectations.

We also saw terrific margin expansion in the quarter, with segment margins up 70 basis points to 15.2%, with strong sales conversion across the portfolio. As we highlighted in our March Investor Conference, we've made margin growth a bigger element of how we incentivize our people, so everyone's focused on it and interests are aligned.

Given the strength of our first quarter financial performance, we are raising our full year guidance $0.05 on the high end and $0.10 on the low end. We now expect earnings to be in the range of $4.35 to $4.55 per share, up approximately 9% to 14% versus prior year on a continuing ops basis, meaning adjusting for the CPG divestiture.

We think this represents a very strong outlook for the year. And while we recognize the macro uncertainties that remain ahead, we are confident in our ability to continue executing on growth and productivity opportunities.

As part of that execution mainstay, our seed planting initiatives have paved the way for exciting new wins, including an exclusive agreement with Inmarsat, a global satellite service provider, to provide airlines and OEMs all of the onboard hardware needed to access Inmarsat's Internet connectivity service. Global online services for commercial, biz av and government customers will be available in 2014, and the contract is valued at an estimated $2.8 billion over the next few decades.

We acquired EMS Technologies looking at the trends around aircraft connectivity. And so far, that's paid off really well. With a combination of their broad technology offering and our execution capabilities, we emerged the perfect partner to launch the Inmarsat global connectivity network. Our Aero team did just a great job.

And in ACS, Building Solutions launched Attune, a suite of professional services that combines cloud-based tools and analytics to help owners and operators reduce energy bills by as much as 20%. And we're seeing terrific uptake.

And in PMT, we continue to invest in high ROI projects, including, this quarter, the expansion of a UOP absorbent and catalyst facility, focused on the removal of radioactive material from liquids. These are currently being used in Japan in response to last year's nuclear disaster. The expansion also supports the production of a new absorbent and catalyst used by petrochemical producers and refiners.

So in summary, we're off to a great start in 2012 despite the more challenging macro environment. And while our shorter-cycle businesses have seen an impact from the slowdowns in Europe and China, we're encouraged by the strength we're seeing in the U.S., other high-growth regions and long-cycle. New product introductions have also helped our shorter-cycle businesses grow faster than the markets served, which, coupled with accelerating growth in our longer-cycle businesses, is leading to top-tier organic growth.

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