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Honeywell 2014 Profit Forecast Low End Trails Estimates

Honeywell International Inc., the manufacturer whose products range from aviation controls to solvents, forecast a profit for 2014 whose low end trailed analysts’ estimates.

Sales next year will rise 4 percent to 5 percent percent, to as much as $40.7 billion, the Morris Township, New Jersey-based company said in a statement. Earnings per share are expected to rise to a range of $5.35 to $5.55. Analysts project an average of $5.55.

Honeywell said it’s bracing for continued budget declines at the U.S. Department of Defense, where it gets about 8 percent of revenue, as it expects the economic environment next year “to be similar to 2013.” Still, by keeping costs in check, Chief Executive Officer Dave Cote said he expects “strong margin expansion” and “double-digit earnings growth” next year.

The company also reaffirmed its forecast for 2013, saying sales would be $38.8 billion to $39 billion.

Honeywell shares were little changed at $87.49 at 9:33 a.m. in New York. Through yesterday’s close, the shares had gained 38 percent this year, compared with a 25 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s Index.

“We remain enthusiastic about the underlying upside in Honeywell,” Deane Dray, an analyst at Citigroup Global Markets, said in a note today. Dray recommends buying the shares.

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