CHICAGO (Reuters) -- Johnson Controls Inc. said on Tuesday that quarterly earnings rose 24 percent on growth in both its automotive interiors and building controls businesses.
Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls reported net income of $273 million, or $1.41 per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $220.3 million, or $1.16 per share, a year earlier.
A lower effective tax rate and favorable resolution to worldwide tax audits added 9 cents per share to results, Johnson Controls said. Analysts on average expected it to earn $1.32 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales rose 12.6 percent to $6.76 billion in the quarter from a year earlier, for the company, which makes car seats, auto interiors, batteries and building environmental controls.
Auto group sales rose 15.1 percent to $5.13 billion mainly on new business and stronger shipments of seating, other interiors and batteries. North America industry vehicle production was down slightly from a year earlier, while European production was up slightly.
Johnson Controls is seen as better insulated than most parts suppliers, many of whom warned that rising steel prices and North American light vehicle production cuts at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. would hurt results.
Controls group sales rose 5.4 percent to $1.63 billion on stronger facility management and technical services revenue. The backlog of uncompleted contracts was up 5 percent at the end of fiscal 2004 from a year earlier.
Installation contract orders were lower than a year earlier as federal and state governments spent less domestically, more than offsetting increased education and health-care bookings.
The company also backed its Oct. 8 earnings forecast for fiscal 2005 when it said it expected operating income growth of 10 percent to 12 percent, with higher net income growth because of a lower effective tax rate.
Sales are expected to grow 8 percent to 10 percent in 2005, though the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1 is expected to start slowly because of auto production declines, slower building controls growth and higher raw materials costs.