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Honeywell 1st-quarter earnings rise; boosts lower end of its 2014 earnings outlook

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MORRIS TOWNSHIP, New Jersey — Honeywell International Inc. lifted the lower end of its 2014 earnings outlook Thursday, thanks to better-than-expected first quarter results and signs of an improving global economy.

The company is still "cautiously optimistic" about the economy, said CEO Dave Cote. He said that there has been "good growth" in the U.S., as well as in China, India and the Middle East.

The industrial conglomerate makes and develops technology and products used by the aerospace, construction and automotive industries. Because it is involved in so many industries, it is considered a good measure of how the economy is faring. Another conglomerate, General Electric Co., also said Thursday that the global economy is improving.

The company said it now expects earnings between $5.40 per share and $5.55 per share for the year, up from its previous guidance between $5.35 per share and $5.55 per share. It kept its revenue guidance unchanged to between $40.3 billion and $40.7 billion. Analysts expect earnings of $5.54 per share and revenue of $40.8 billion for the year, according to FactSet.

Honeywell, which is based in Morris Township, New Jersey, said its first quarter earnings were helped by its transportation systems business, which makes turbochargers used in car engines. That unit's revenue rose 9 percent to $993 million.

Net income rose to $1.02 billion, or $1.28 per share, in the three months ending March 31, compared with $966 million, or $1.21 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $9.68 billion from $9.33 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.26 per share and revenue of $9.75 billion, according to FactSet.

Shares of the company, which is based in Morris Township, New Jersey, rose 7 cents to $93.37 in afternoon trading Thursday. Its shares are up almost 30 percent for the past year.

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