Johnson Controls Inc. posted 30-percent hike in net profit for its first fiscal quarter to $469 million or 69 cents per share. A year ago, net profit was $359 million, or 52 cents per share. Revenue at the supplier surged 5 percent to $10.91 billion, exceeding expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S of $10.73 billion.
"The significant improvement in profitability resulted from our focus on execution and cost discipline,” chief executive Alex Molinaroli said in a statement. He added that Johnson Controls also benefitted from the higher levels of global automotive production. Johnson Controls produces car interiors, seating systems, and batteries.
A larger part of Johnson Controls' overall revenue came from its automotive segment, which revenue surged 10 percent to $5.76 billion thanks to stronger demand for vehicles around the world. Auto industry production jumped 10 percent in North America, 2 percent in Europe and 14 percent in China, Johnson Controls said.
The supplier said that automotive revenue in China climbed 33 percent in the quarter to $1.9 billion while income rose 130 percent to $232 million. Earlier this month, Johnson Controls sold its automotive electronics business to Visteon for $265 million in cash. Johnson Controls posted a 6 percent rise in battery sales $1.77 billion and a 12 percent rise in battery income to $308 million.
The supply expects to post a net profit of between $3.15 and $3.30 per share for 2014 with free cash flow of $1.6 billion, lower that the Wall Street forecast of $3.31 per share. Johnson Controls said expects to post a fiscal second quarter earnings of 64 to 66 cents per share. Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of analysts shows average expectation of 67 cents per share. The supplier increased its quarterly dividend in the first fiscal quarter by 16 percent and completed $1.2 billion in share repurchases.