You'll recall that it was just about a year ago that many large U.S. industrial companies were having difficulty generating earnings at home, but were still ringing the cash register abroad. These days, however, as Honeywell (NYSE:HON) just demonstrated, there's no safe haven for corporations in search of profits.

In the most recent quarter, for instance, Honeywell generated earnings of $0.60 a share on sales of $7.6 billion, compared to $0.96 per share on $9.7 billion in revenues for the comparable quarter a year ago. As a result, Honeywell joined General Electric (NYSE:GE), United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), Goodrich (NYSE:GR), Textron (NYSE:TXT), and other similar U.S.-based industrial companies whose results had slipped from a year ago. 

Looking at Honeywell's individual segments, its Aerospace sales were down 17% year over year, primarily as a result of a pullback in business aviation and divestitures. At the same time, the company generated contracts as one of 15 participants in a European air traffic control project, along with a logistics support pact with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Automation and Control sales also fell 17% year over year. Nevertheless, the unit was awarded -- among other things -- a $23 million contract for a perimeter intrusion detection system that will be used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Transportation Systems' sales dropped by 41%. Among its awards, however, was a series of contracts with lifetime values over $500 million and the official launch of its new turbocharger for Volkswagen.

While the Specialty Materials segment saw its sales decline by 28%, it boasted the creation of jet fuel made from biofeedstocks that performed at least as well in test flights as petroleum-based fuel. The results were announced by a Boeing (NYSE:BA) group at the Paris Air Show.

It's only slightly tongue-in-cheek to say that any company that can cavort simultaneously with Volkswagen, the Canadian Mounties, and artificial jet fuel is deserving of Foolish attention. And with more than half of its revenue generated internationally, Honeywell is stocked with plenty of potential until our economy rediscovers its sea legs.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned above. He does, however, welcome your comments or questions. The Fool has a multi-talented disclosure policy.