By Ben Fox Rubin
Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit as the manufacturer's sales improved in all three of its main businesses, led by growth in automotive.
The company also said it plans to explore strategic options for its automotive interiors business. Revenue from the interiors business totaled $4.2 billion in fiscal 2013, about 10% of the company's total.
For its first quarter, the company expects earnings to rise about 30%--or 35% when adjusting for a divesture--below estimates of 39% from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Full-year guidance will be provided on Dec. 18.
The maker of car batteries, automotive seating, and York-brand heating and air conditioning systems last month completed the sale of its HomeLink assets--which include a vehicle-based control system to remotely activate garage door openers and home lighting--for $700 million to Gentex Corp. (GNTX).
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Johnson Controls reported a profit of $105 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $8 million, or a penny a share. Excluding restructuring costs, a gain on divestitures in the latest quarter and other items, earnings were 95 cents, up from 77 cents.
Sales rose 6.3% to $11.05 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings of 95 cents and revenue of $11 billion.
Automotive sales rose 8.9% to $5.46 billion. Building efficiency sales improved 1.9% to $3.89 billion, and power solutions sales rose 8.6% to $1.7 billion.
Shares closed at $42.82 Monday and were down 0.2% in recent premarket trading. The stock is up 40% so far this year.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 29, 2013 08:03 ET (12:03 GMT)Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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