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UBS upgrades Honeywell to neutral with raised PT, reflecting improved IA guidance

EditorIsmeta Mujdragic
Published 06/10/2024, 09:02 AM
© Reuters.

On Monday, UBS adjusted its stance on Honeywell International (NASDAQ:HON), moving the company's stock rating to Neutral from its previous Sell position. The firm also increased the price target to $215 from the earlier $175.

The decision was influenced by an improved outlook for the company's Industrial Automation (IA) segment and a market valuation reset, which has seen Honeywell's stock de-rate to a mid-single-digit percentage discount relative to the S&P 500. This marks a shift from its late 2022 peak, where it traded at approximately a 40% premium.

The UBS analyst highlighted that Honeywell's price-to-earnings ratio compared to the S&P 500 is now below its historical average premium of 5-10%. The downgrade in valuation reflects the company's lackluster organic sales growth in recent years, coupled with near-term concerns about guidance and consensus estimates. Despite these challenges, the analyst noted that the downside risk appears to have diminished.

The analyst's commentary also pointed out that while their projections remain slightly more conservative than consensus estimates for the second half of 2024, with a 0.5% difference, there are positive signs on the horizon. Honeywell is expected to benefit from an uptick in short-cycle demand and the conversion of its Warehouse funnel in the latter half of the year, which should alleviate concerns and potentially lead to a stronger position entering the fiscal year 2025.

The upgrade reflects a change in perspective regarding Honeywell's potential to navigate its current challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities. The new price target of $215 represents a notable increase from the previous target, suggesting a recalibration of expectations for the company's stock performance in the market.

In other recent news, Honeywell International has seen significant developments with its recent acquisitions and financial performance. The company's first-quarter earnings exceeded expectations due to an 18% increase in sales within its aerospace division, hitting $3.67 billion. Overall, Honeywell's first-quarter sales grew by 3% to $9.11 billion, surpassing analyst estimates of $9.03 billion.

Honeywell completed the acquisition of CARR's Global Access Solutions business and the $4.95 billion acquisition of the Carrier security business. Citi has raised Honeywell's stock target due to the anticipated benefits of the CARR acquisition, while RBC Capital Markets has reduced its price target following the Carrier deal.

Deutsche Bank has downgraded Honeywell's stock from Buy to Hold due to the company's continuous underperformance compared to its industry peers. This decision was influenced by Honeywell's sub-par organic growth. Additionally, Honeywell is reportedly exploring the sale of its protective equipment (PPE) division, valued at over $2 billion.

The company's strategy to realign its business around automation, aviation, and energy transition continues to shape its future. Despite some challenges, Honeywell's acquisitions and robust earnings performance indicate a strong and proactive approach to its business operations.

InvestingPro Insights

Following UBS's updated outlook on Honeywell International, InvestingPro data reveals additional insights into the company's financial standing. With a solid market capitalization of $135.95 billion and a P/E ratio of 24.09, Honeywell is positioned as a significant player in the market. The recent adjustments in its P/E ratio to 23.66 for the last twelve months as of Q1 2024, coupled with a PEG ratio of 1.97, suggest a balance between its market value and expected earnings growth. Moreover, Honeywell's commitment to shareholder returns is evident, as it boasts a dividend yield of 2.07% and has raised its dividend for 13 consecutive years, underscoring its financial stability and attractiveness to income-focused investors.

InvestingPro Tips highlight Honeywell's status as a prominent player in the Industrial Conglomerates industry, with a track record of maintaining dividend payments for 40 consecutive years. Additionally, eight analysts have revised their earnings upwards for the upcoming period, indicating a positive outlook on the company's financial prospects. For investors seeking a deeper analysis and more InvestingPro Tips, Honeywell's dedicated page on Investing.com offers a wealth of information, including the fact that there are 12 additional tips available to guide investment decisions. Remember to use coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription, unlocking further insights that can refine your investment strategy.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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