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UPDATE 2-Johnson Controls posts higher quarterly profit, affirms outlook
January 22, 2015 / 12:46 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-Johnson Controls posts higher quarterly profit, affirms outlook

(Adds details about Hitachi joint venture, results, stock action)

DETROIT, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Johnson Controls Inc on Thursday posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and said it expected higher order rates for the rest of its fiscal year, sending shares up 4.3 percent.

The auto supplier and maker of climate control systems for buildings also affirmed its full-year earnings forecast but indicated current-quarter results might miss analysts’ estimates.

Johnson Controls also announced the formation of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning joint venture with Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. Under the agreement, Johnson Controls will own a 60 percent stake in the venture.

The deal with Hitachi is expected to close in the fourth quarter and add 5 to 7 cents a share to 2016 earnings excluding integration costs, Johnson Controls said.

Net income rose 12 percent to $507 million, or 76 cents a share, in the first quarter ended Dec. 31 from $451 million, or 69 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding transaction and integration costs, earnings were 79 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected 77 cents.

In October, Johnson Controls said it would earn 74 cents to 77 cents a share.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $10.7 billion, in line with the $10.67 billion analysts had expected. Excluding the effect of currency translation, sales rose 5 percent.

Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls said it still expected a full-year profit of $3.55 to $3.70 a share, excluding one-time items, in fiscal 2015. Analysts were expecting $3.59.

For the second quarter, the company forecast earnings of 74 cents to 76 cents a share, compared with analysts’ estimates of 76 cents.

Johnson Controls said the anticipated higher order rates this year would benefit backlog in its second half.

Income was up in each of Johnson Control’s business units and increased 18 percent overall.

In the auto business, income jumped 26 percent on improvement in the seating and interiors businesses and strong demand in China.

In the battery business, earnings increased 4 percent, while the building efficiency unit’s surged 38 percent on rising demand in North America and Europe.

Shares of Johnson Controls rose $1.98 to $47.83 in mid-day trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Nick Zieminski)

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