Honeywell CFO sees "muted" economic growth in 2011

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 22, 2010 16:00 hrs
Honeywell CFO sees "muted" economic growth in 2011

Honeywell International Inc is not counting on a pickup in the global economy to boost its results in 2011, when it expects to increase sales 5 percent or more, its chief financial officer said on Friday.

The diversified U.S. manufacturer provided investors with its first, rough forecast of next year, after it reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit.

"It's pretty muted growth in the developed economies of the U.S. and Europe and continued pretty robust growth in the emerging markets, notably Eastern Europe and China, India, Brazil and Latin America," CFO Dave Anderson said in an interview. "We're looking at pretty low numbers for the U.S. and Europe."

The world's biggest maker of cockpit electronics also sees many more opportunities for acquisitions, though it remains selective in the deals it pursues, Anderson said, noting that he reviews 100 possible takeovers a year.

"There are more active sellers. I think private equity is looking to sell assets out of some of their portfolios," Anderson said, adding that he also sees more large companies trying to sell non-core operations.

While sellers' price expectations -- which were pushed to stratospheric levels in the wave of takeovers before the credit crisis -- have come down from their peak, sellers are becoming more focused on what they expect their businesses to be worth in the next few years, Anderson said.

"People are now, instead of looking in their rear-view mirror, they are putting their brights on, to use the automobile analogy, and they're saying this is what we could become."

(Reporting by Scott Malone)

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