With its global reach in aerospace and industrial markets, Honeywell (HON ) is a solid play on the economic recovery. So says Benjamin Segal of Winchester Capital, which has accumulated Honeywell shares, betting that its diversified operations, including power generation and industrial automation and control, will show robust growth. And its strong free cash flow -- which he estimates at $1.8 billion in 2005, $2.3 billion in 2006, and $2.8 billion in 2007 -- should produce above-average growth, says Segal. Moreover, the stock is undervalued on a sum-of-the-parts basis, adds Segal, who estimates a combined worth at 58. The stock is now at 39, up from 35 in early May. Segal doesn't discount the possibility that Honeywell may get a fresh buyout bid. In 2000, General Electric topped a $40 billion offer from United Technologies (UTX ) with its own $45 billion bid. But in 2001, the European Commission blocked GE from buying Honeywell. Nicholas Heymann of Prudential Equity Group (PRU ) rates the stock ``overweight'' with a 6-to-12-month target of 48. He sees profits of $2.20 a share in 2005 and $2.60 in 2006. Honeywell declined comment on buyout talk.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.
By Gene G. Marcial