Yet another Dow component visited the earnings confessional today, as Honeywell announced a 14% jump in third-quarter profit. In the latest reporting period, the aerospace and technology firm said it banked $618 million, or 81 cents per share, up from year-ago results of $541 million (66 cents). Revenue was 9.8% higher at $8.74 billion, as product sales grew 11% and service sales were up 6.7%. Analysts were targeting per-share results of 81 cents on $8.59 billion in revenue.
HON Chairman/CEO Dave Cote stated that We had strong organic sales growth in each of our businesses in the third quarter ... we believe that the company is well positioned for continued growth and we remain confident in our business outlook. HON lifted its 2007 guidance for the third time this year, now expecting per-share net income of $3.14 to $3.16, on sales of $34.2 billion. The company had previous expected per-share results of $3.10 to $3.16 for the full year on revenue of $33.9 billion.
HON shares dropped 2.5% out of the gate this morning, suggesting that expectations may have been inflated heading into the company's earnings report. In fact, short interest is notably low on the shares (less than 1% of the equity's float) and 10 of the 11 analysts following the stock have named it a buy or better. Though the firm's per-share results were equal to the Street's consensus view, some investors may have been hoping for a positive surprise.
Today's move lower has dropped the stock below its 20-day moving average, but it remains above its 10-week and 20-week moving averages and in a long-term uptrend.