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Johnson Controls posts 4Q profit, backs guidance

Johnson Controls posts 4Q profit, backs guidance

Johnson Controls Inc. said Tuesday that cost cuts and operational improvements bolstered its profit in the fourth quarter, helping to offset the effects of the continued weak economy on its sales.
Johnson Controls, which makes both automotive and building systems, also backed its 2010 profit and sales outlook, citing expectations of higher global automotive production and the resumption of higher growth rates in emerging markets.
The company said it also expects building-efficiency markets to start to improve in the second half of the fiscal year and for cost-structure improvements taken over the last year to also boost its profitability.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Milwaukee company posted a profit of $300 million, or 47 cents per share, compared with $16 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago.
Last year's results included $495 million in restructuring charges related to the consolidation of facilities, job cuts and other cost-cutting actions .
The 2009 quarter's profit included pretax charges of $105 million related to a warranty charge in the residential HVAC business and $111 million for costs stemming from a debt exchange offer. It also included an income tax benefit of $114 million.
Excluding items, Johnson Controls earned 52 cents per share, topping estimates by a penny, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters. The profit was also consistent with the company's guidance issued earlier this month.
Sales fell 16 percent, to $7.87 billion, beating average predictions of $7.83 billion.
The drop included a 14 percent decrease in automotive division sales, but the company said the business returned to profitability during the quarter as a result of an improved cost structure.
Sales at Johnson Controls' power-solutions business, which produces batteries for both traditional and hybrid vehicles, fell 17 percent but were relatively flat excluding the effects of lower lead prices and currency translation.
Building-efficiency sales, which involve commercial and residential climate-control systems, fell 16 percent.
For the twelve months ended Sept. 30, Johnson Controls posted a loss of $338 million, or 57 cents per share, compared with a profit of $979 million, or $1.63 per share, in fiscal 2008. Sales fell to $28.5 billion from $38.06 billion.
Johnson Controls said it still expects to post a 2010 profit of $1.35 to $1.45 per share on a sales increase of 9 percent, to about $31 billion. Analysts, on average, expect a profit of $1.54 per share on $31.07 billion in sales.


Updated : 2021-07-30 19:02 GMT+08:00