Honeywell International Inc. (HON) swung to a fourth-quarter loss amid substantial pension-related costs, though its aerospace and automation and control-systems segments posted healthy growth.
The maker of aerospace, building control and safety products has steadily benefited from a broad-based increase in demand. Honeywell has said it is planning for challenges in the macroeconomic environment in 2012, but it expects to grow faster than the end markets it serves thanks to a robust long-cycle backlog of almost $16 billion and strong commercial aerospace aftermarket growth.
Honeywell reported a loss of $310 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $369 million, or 47 cents a share. Excluding pension mark-to-market adjustments, earnings rose to $1.05 from 87 cents. Net sales increased 8.3% to $9.47 billion.
The company in October forecast earnings of $1 to $1.05 a share on revenue of $9.4 billion to $9.6 billion.
Operating margin swung to negative 6.9% from positive 5.2%.
Honeywell's automation and control-systems business, which serves the commercial construction industry, saw net sales rise 3.5%. The aerospace unit's net sales improved 7.8%.
Shares closed Thursday at $57.83 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 7% in the past three months.
-By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; email@example.com