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October 11, 2017

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Honeywell’s growth tied to aerospace

HONEYWELL International Inc unveiled a corporate makeover yesterday that will tie its growth more strongly to aerospace technology and spin off other businesses as two publicly-traded companies by the end of 2018.

The company also raised the low-end of its full-year 2017 earnings guidance by 5 cents to US$7.05-US$7.10, and said it would spend the proceeds from the spin-offs on share buybacks, acquisitions and paying down debt.

Honeywell Chief Executive Officer Darius Adamczyk, like his peers at other industrial conglomerates, has been under pressure to pull apart a portfolio of disparate businesses that includes automotive turbo chargers, burglar alarms and the Xtratuf boots popular in Alaska’s fishing industry.

Honeywell had been under pressure from hedge fund Third Point to spin off the aerospace division, which accounted for about 36 percent of total revenue in 2016 and which Third Point said could generate US$20 billion in shareholder value if sold.

The changes announced yesterday split off its home and ADI global distribution business — which deal with building systems running from air conditioning to smoke alarms — into one unit and transport systems into a second.

They include the low-margin automotive turbocharger business, joining other companies, including auto supplier Delphi Automotive Plc, in shedding technology tied to the internal combustion engine as regulators around the world crack down on emissions and talk of mandating a switch to battery-electric vehicles over the next two decades.

Honeywell said the two spun-off business units together would generate annualized revenue of about US$7.5 billion. It said it would gain US$3 billion from the spin-offs.

Ahead of its quarterly earnings report, the company also said third quarter sales were expected to be US$10.1 billion, an increase of 5 percent in organic terms compared to an earlier forecast range of +/-1 percent.


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