U.S. industrials top profit forecasts; Asia a lift

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 22, 2010 14:20 hrs

/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Diversified U.S. manufacturers Honeywell International Inc and Ingersoll-Rand plc posted higher-than-expected earnings and raised their full-year forecasts, helped by strong demand from Asia.

Robust sales in Asia helped to offset the persistent slump in nonresidential construction in the United States, which has held down demand for automation and air-conditioning equipment used in big buildings.

"Despite the tempered economic landscape, we see a continued upward trend in our orders rate across all segments," Honeywell Chief Executive Officer Dave Cote told analysts on a conference call.

The world's largest maker of cockpit electronics experienced a pickup in demand for equipment used on commercial planes. United Technologies Corp reported a similar trend earlier in the week, as airlines that had held off on major maintenance during the recession begin to resume major overhauls of their fleets.

Both Honeywell and Ingersoll, which makes air conditioning and security equipment, reported a pickup in Asian demand.

"We are seeing improvement in several of our key markets including global demand for refrigerated transport and industrial and commercial (heating and cooling equipment) in Asia," Ingersoll CEO Michael Lamach said in a statement.

Honeywell said sales to the Asia-Pacific region were up 21 percent in the quarter, more than twice the company's overall growth rate.


Morris Township, New Jersey-based Honeywell reported an 18 percent drop in net income that it attributed to its aggressive approach to pension accounting.

Earnings per share came in at 64 cents, ahead of the 62 cents analysts had forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Honeywell forecast full-year earnings of $2.52 per share, above its most recent outlook of $2.40 to $2.50. It was the third time this year that the company had raised this target.

Ingersoll's net income rose 7 percent, with earnings of 80 cents per share from continuing operations, 1 cent ahead of the analysts' average estimate.

The company said it now expected full-year profit of $2.30 to $2.40 per share, excluding 12 cents in charges for healthcare tax expenses.

Dover Corp, which makes supermarket equipment, industrial pumps and valves, said profit more than doubled.

Earnings from continuing operations, excluding a tax benefit and other items, were 98 cents a share. Analysts on average expected 90 cents.

Honeywell shares were down 1.0 percent at $46.21 in premarket trading, while Dover fell 0.7 percent to $54.43.

(Reporting by Scott Malone and Nick Zieminski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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