Johnson Controls Inc. Wheels and Deals, While Boeing Salvages Derailed 737 Fuselages

Here are two industrial giants making headlines in the markets today.

Jul 7, 2014 at 3:00PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is taking a breather today after reaching 17,000 for the first time at the end of last week's holiday-shortened trading. By midafternoon, the Dow was trading 56 points lower, or 0.33%, as investors found few reasons to buy before earnings season kicks off later this week.

"This earnings season has a lot of pressure on it since we need to see significant revenue growth to offset weakness in the first quarter," Oliver Pursche, president of Gary Goldberg Financial Services, told Reuters.

As companies gear up to issue second-quarter earnings numbers, here are some industrial giants making headlines in the markets today.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) investors likely raised an eyebrow when a 19-car train derailment in Montana last week sent 737 fuselages down an embankment and toward a river. The 90-car train was carrying a handful of 737 fuselages, as well as pieces of the manufacturer's 777 and 747 aircraft from Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:SPR).

Fortunately, this incident will have very little impact on second-quarter earnings, if any at all.

"High on the annoyance scale, but not a major setback," Howard Rubel, a managing director at Jefferies, told Reuters.

If all six 737 fuselages are scrapped, which hasn't yet been determined, that would still only represent a few days' worth of production. Considering that Boeing makes 42 737's per month, it would likely be able to make up the lost product within a month.

Meanwhile, industrial multinational Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) has been wheeling and dealing recently. Just last week the company closed on the sale of its automotive electronics business to Visteon. Under the terms of the $265 million deal, Visteon will acquire Johnson Controls' instrument cluster, infotainment, display, and body electronics products, according to a Johnson Controls press release.

This was just the latest move in Johnson Controls' attempt to sell off its automotive electronics business. Roughly a year ago, the company sold its HomeLink Electronics unit to Gentex for $700 million.

This doesn't come as a surprise for any Johnson Controls investors, as the company has communicated its intention to move away from the auto electronics business to focus on core segments and diversify its portfolio from the highly cyclical automotive industry. As recently as 2005 Johnson Controls' automotive business segment accounted for 69% of company sales. By 2013 the automotive segment only accounted for 51% of sales, and that figure will continue to decline with looming growth in the company's building efficiency and power solutions group.

While Johnson Controls is walking away from its automotive electronics business, it still sees potential in other automotive segments. The company announced two months ago that it would form a joint venture with a Chinese company owned by Shanghai Automotive Industry to create a massive automotive interiors company with revenue reaching roughly $7.5 billion.

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Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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