HON Tops EPS Estimates

Earlier today, Honeywell (HON) reported fourth-quarter EPS of $2.60, vs. $2.52 last year, which was $0.01 above expectations. However, sales growth of 3%, or 2% on an organic basis, was below expectations of 5%.

The fact is the company’s safety and productivity solutions segment still has weak results, as revenues declined 24%. However, order growth of 30% portends better results this year. The company’s core aerospace business remains strong, with revenues up 15%, marking its sixth-consecutive quarter of double-digit gains.

Full-year revenue growth guidance of 4% to 6%, and EPS of $9.80 to $10.10 was in line with expectations. So, why did the stock pull back today? Global economic concerns are growing, and investors focused more on the revenue miss rather than in-line guidance.

Personally, I would rather focus on the long term with Honeywell, as its exposure to aviation, automation and clean energy will drive long-term growth. In addition, in the event there is economic weakness, high-quality, high return on capital companies like Honeywell will hold up better than most. HON remains a buy below $200. My target is $220.