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Honeywell Is Verifying the Recovery

By David Smith - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 11:32AM

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Despite the economy's continued shakiness, a group of big companies merit watching.

While the economy may still be unsettled, Honeywell (NYSE: HON) has joined other major companies such as United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) -- which posted analyst estimate-beating earnings of $1.20 for the latest quarter -- in pointing to what appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Honeywell, which is involved in a mixture of technology and manufacturing businesses, checked in with earnings of $468 million, or $0.60 per share. Those figures compare with income of $450 million, or $0.60 a share, for the comparable quarter a year ago. At the same time, revenue climbed by 8% to $8.2 billion, compared with $7.6 billion in the second quarter of 2009. The numbers beat analyst estimates, which were projected at $8 billion in revenue, leading to $0.57 in per-share earnings.

Looking at Honeywell's segments, only the aerospace unit saw its revenues dip -- a relatively modest 3% on a year-over-year basis -- which was primarily a result of lower original equipment manufacturer sales.

The automation and control solutions group improved its sales 7% year over year, based on across-the-board regional growth, general industrial strengthening, and energy efficiency projects.

The company's other two segments, transportation systems and specialty materials, both achieved double-digit revenue growth in the quarter. The transportation group expanded its top line by 30% on global sales improvements. Concurrently, specialty materials sales were up 20%, also because of stronger global markets, along with petrochemical catalyst demand.

As CEO Dave Cote noted on the company's analyst call, "We are benefiting in the marketplace from the steps we took in each of our businesses to ensure that we and our suppliers were prepared for the recovery." At the same time, he pointed to improving sales in Asia-Pacific, specifically China, Japan, India, and Korea. Among Honeywell's significant wins in that neck of the woods, PetroChina (NYSE: PTR) has chosen the company's control and safety systems for the world's longest gas pipeline.

Finally, there remain other major manufacturing, technology, and transportation companies that have yet to report their quarterly results, including Boeing and BorgWarner. In the meantime, Honeywell clearly has joined the likes of General Electric (NYSE: GE) as a company that is verifying the recovery through a quarterly performance that should make Foolish investors take notice.  

Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't have financial interests in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Nevertheless, he welcomes your questions or comments. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Raytheon Technologies Corporation Stock Quote
Raytheon Technologies Corporation
RTX
$95.01 (2.00%) $1.86
General Electric Company Stock Quote
General Electric Company
GE
$79.93 (1.30%) $1.03
PetroChina Company Limited Stock Quote
PetroChina Company Limited
PTR
$44.20 (-1.65%) $0.74
Honeywell International Inc. Stock Quote
Honeywell International Inc.
HON
$200.87 (1.19%) $2.36

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