Johnson Controls Profit Slumps 17%, EPS Outlook Grim

Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) revealed first-quarter earnings that beat on the top and bottom lines on Friday, however it warned that the first half of fiscal 2013 will be much worse than the year-earlier period.

While Johnson Controls said it is confident that full-year sales will grow in 2013, it expects earnings in the first half of the year to be “significantly lower than in 2012.”

The company forecast earnings in the current quarter in the range of 40 cents and 42 cents a share, which is below the consensus outlook of 51 cents.

Shares of Johnson Controls fell nearly 3.5% to $30.85.

The Milwaukee-based maker of temperature regulation systems and batteries reported net income of $354 million, 52 cents a share, down 17% compared with a year-earlier $424 million or 62 cents.

The results topped average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by a penny.

Revenue for the three-month period was flat year-over-year at $10.4 billion, beating the Street’s view of $10.26 billion. Strong sales in its power solutions group were weighed down by weak segment income in its automotive business.

“Global demand in our markets was softer than a year ago, but we benefited from the strong backlog of business we had entering the fiscal year," said Johnson Controls CEO Stephen Roell.

A soft spot continues to be Europe, where demand has softened. Roell said the company initiated restructuring in the third and fourth quarters of 2012 in an effort to improve the region’s performance.