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Brooke Sutherland

Loeb's Activist Push at Honeywell Could Be Off Target

The industrial giant could use a breakup, but not the one this activist wants.
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Congratulations on the promotion, Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk. Meet your activist investor, Daniel Loeb.

Loeb's Third Point LLC disclosed in a letter to shareholders late Thursday -- on the eve of Adamczyk's one-month anniversary as head of Honeywell International Inc. -- that it had taken a stake in the industrial giant and was pushing for it to spin off its aerospace unit. Shares of the $100 billion maker of jet engines, HVAC systems and chemical agents initially rose more than 5 percent in after-market trading. That's a pop for Honeywell, but it's seen bigger gains on earnings wins. It's certainly far short of the $20 billion that Third Point argues is possible.