The Honeywell International sign sits outside of the company’s former global headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, on Friday, Jan. 26, 2007. (Photo by Daniel Barry/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Diversified manufacturer Honeywell International fell short of Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Thursday and cut its full-year sales forecast, as its customers remain cautious about capital spending amid a slowing global economy.
Honeywell’s diverse set of businesses, which range from warehouse automation equipment to catalysts used in gasoline production, are closely linked with the health of the global economy.
The prolonged trade war between the United States and China and the possibility of Britain exiting the European Union without a new agreement in place have weighed heavily on business confidence and resulted in sluggish capital spending.
Honeywell cut the top end of its full-year sales forecast to $36.9 billion, while retaining the lower end at $36.7 billion.
The company forecast fourth-quarter earnings per share between $2 and $2.05, below analysts’ average estimate of $2.06, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
“Overall, we believe the quarter was generally in-line with expectations (better margin performance and weaker core growth),” Gordon Haskett analyst John Inch said.
“While the slightly lower fourth-quarter guide versus consensus is likely to be viewed as mildly disappointing but likely also relatively resilient against the backdrop of the tough economy,” Inch added.
Honeywell, however, raised the lower end of its 2019 earnings per share forecast by 15 cents to $8.10, while reaffirming the higher end at $8.15, helped by higher sales of aerospace parts to airlines and the defense sector.
The grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft earlier this year has forced airlines to substitute their fleet with older aircraft that require higher maintenance, boosting sales of spares for aero parts makers including Honeywell.
Sales in the aerospace unit, Honeywell’s biggest business that provides repair and overhaul services to airlines and makes auxiliary power units, wheels and brakes for Boeing and Airbus aircraft, surged 10% excluding the impact of foreign currency translation and other items.
Margin in the business jumped to 25.6% in the third-quarter ended Sept. 30, from 22.1%, a year earlier.
Overall margin rose to 21.2% in the quarter from 19.4%, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, Honeywell earned $2.08 per share in the third quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.01.
Revenue fell 15.6% to $9.09 billion and missed estimates of $9.11 billion.
Honeywell’s shares were up 0.5% at $164.55 in premarket trading.