Honeywell International Earnings Call Nuggets: Second-Quarter Pricing and Merger & Acquisitions Outlook

Honeywell International, Inc. (NYSE:HON) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Second-Quarter Pricing

Steven Winoker – Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.: What was the pricing in the quarter?

David M. Cote – Chairman and CEO: I don’t know off the top of my head, but pricing or commercial excellence is one of the things that we have focused on for a long time and it gets geared towards the value that we provide with a lot of our new products and services, but I don’t have the number off the top of my head.

Elena Doom – VP, IR: We’ve got 50 basis points for the margin rate expansion in the quarter.

David J. Anderson – SVP and CFO: I think another way to say it, and it’s a theme, Steve, we talk about a lot, is pricing and productivity more than offset inflation, and that’s what we’re just going to continue to do.

Steven Winoker – Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.: I’m just trying to get a sense for the unit versus pricing impact, but that’s helpful. On Defense & Space down 8%, I know you mentioned its line with the planned ramp downs and expectations. But I recall from the Defense & Space Day, a plan that was just close to full sequestration but not at full sequestration. Are your planning numbers now incorporating kind of a full sequestration impact over remaining next – on a multiyear basis?

David M. Cote – Chairman and CEO: Well, the way we planned, and I think I’ve said this before, but we assumed about 80% of the sequestration impact and had contingency plans for the remaining 20%, just assuming that that was probably the best bet. It unfolded that way. We launched a contingency plan. So, yeah, everything we are reflecting and the way we’re looking at the Company going forward is to assume sequestration stays.

Elena Doom – VP, IR: With that, that basically gives you about a 4% decline in D&S sales for 2013 versus 2012…

Steven Winoker – Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.: I know you can’t say too much about it, but on the ELT topic that’s come out in the – your announcement on that, I’m just still trying to get my head around something that doesn’t seem to have enough power to generate the heat that would be required to melt the frame in kind of a non-rechargeable self-contained basis. Any kind of color you might provide that this maybe more than that or I just don’t get – I’m just struggling with the kind of physics of the issue.

David M. Cote – Chairman and CEO: I guess a couple of comments. The first one is, my biggest learning from going through a number of these kinds of investigations in the past is ways to find out what the final result is before opining on anything, because these things just – they go all over the place, media loves it. So, any of those snippet they pick up anywhere, they report, and I’ve just learned to wait, wait until they’ve done the job and when you look at the AIB and FAA, they will do a good job sorting this whole thing through. So we’ll just wait to find out what the actuals are and respond to it then. In the meantime, with any things that have been discussed, we can say there’s no significant financial impact on Honeywell in anyway.

Merger & Acquisitions Outlook

Scott Davis – Barclays Capital: The one thing that there wasn’t a slide on was really cash usage, and can you give us a sense of – and maybe on a forward look really, I mean, next six months, next 12 months, given the M&A pipe you have out there, what kind of opportunity you have to put things to work?

David J. Anderson – SVP and CFO: Well, I just talk a little about the quarter. We bought back shares in the quarter, I think it was 6 million shares in the quarter, so that was an attractive, I think, use of cash. We closed on the RAE Systems. Due to regulatory review, the close on Intermec was pushed in the third quarter. We’ll close on Intermec in the third quarter. That’s mid-$600 million in terms of acquisition. I would say Scott right now, just on a forward-looking basis, Dave, get your views on this. I think the acquisition pipeline is relatively attractive. It’s always a matter of the distance between the cup and the lip and seeing the whites of the eyes of these opportunities in terms of the full due diligence and valuation in the very disciplined approach, Scott, that we take to M&A. But I would continue to say to you that I think that we’re very, very well positioned for inorganic growth that complement our organic growth in this environment. And the other thing we’ll continue to do is we’ll continue to look at – from a dividend standpoint, we’ll look at doing the right thing there in the context of growing earnings and what makes sense in terms of dividend payout. Don’t you think Dave it’s the best…

David M. Cote – Chairman and CEO: Yeah, I agree. The strategy remains the same, Scott and we’ll continue to be very disciplined as Dave said when it comes to acquisitions. We haven’t lost our mind in the air and I’d say the nice thing about having a full pipeline is it allows you to be more disciplined in what you go after.

Scott Davis – Barclays Capital: Yeah, agreed. I mean, since you’ve done a nice job in the past, I think, there’s always an interest in seeing more of it, but that’s a high-class problem.

David M. Cote – Chairman and CEO: We’ll continue to be smart about it. I can promise you that.

Scott Davis – Barclays Capital: So, I want to talk a little bit about UOP and then I’ll pass it on. I mean, this is a business that I’m not sure – I know I’ve never been able to forecast and I’m guessing that a lot of other people struggle with it. I mean, it’s been outgrowing the end market for quite some time now and with less volatility than what used to be – it was always a great business, but it used to be much more volatile. It scares me only because we’ve had so many good quarters in a row here. I mean, what’s changed in this business that makes it so much of a better business now or less volatile business now or maybe even more predictable now than what we used to get? Or are we going to get blown up one of these quarters on this thing and not see you coming?

David M. Cote – Chairman and CEO: Yeah, I see the direction where you’re going. At the end of the day quarter-to-quarter it’s still – I mean, lumpy is the word we’ve always used. Some don’t like it, but it’s true. Quarter-to-quarter, it’s always going to be lumpy. Year-to-year though, the forecast ability, if that’s the word, is pretty reasonable and should continue to grow. It’s not just the end market goodness that we’ve seen, but you’ve heard me talk about it before when it comes to UOP, but we’ve got a significant amount of seed planting here. If you go back to when it was a JV, you’ve heard me say before that when one partner wanted to invest, the other didn’t and that was – and it true for us too. And as a result of that, there was 20 years of just kind of ambling along – just terrific technologies, people, culture, everything, but it was really ambling along more than anything else, We’ve really invigorated that when we took over the whole thing and put a lot more money into R&D and horizon-free spending. You don’t see it right way. But over the course of that ensuing six or seven years, man, it started to pay off really well and that’s what’s you are seeing the benefits of which allows us to put even more money back into to develop new things. You’ve seen it happen in some of the cultural changes as they’ve expanded globally, improving our reach that used to be more mental than physical, and we just have more people out there now than we ever did before, and all those things taken together, the technology, the money we’ve put into it, the people outreach, the customer outreach, is just really paying off very well.

A Closer Look: Honeywell International Earnings Cheat Sheet>>