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Honeywell profits more than double<br> Will sell division tied to auto products

Honeywell International Inc. said Friday its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, raised its guidance for 2011 and agreed to sell its division that makes Fram oil filters and Prestone antifreeze for about $950 million.

The earnings improvement stemmed mainly from accounting adjustments, but the technology and manufacturing company cited improved market conditions as it raised its financial guidance.

Honeywell, which operates a research facility in Buffalo, is selling its automotive products business, which also makes Autolite spark plugs and Holts car care products, to Rank Group, a private investment company based in New Zealand.

The division, based in Danbury, Conn., has more than 2,000 employees and revenue of about $1 billion in 2010. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Chairman and CEO Dave Cote said in a statement that while it is "a good business, it doesn't fit with our portfolio of differentiated, global technologies."

Honeywell shares fell 60 cents to $55.32 on Friday.

The company, based in Morris Township, N.J., reported net income rose to $369 million, or 47 cents per share, in the last three months of 2010 from $163 million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding a hefty accounting adjustment related to pensions, earnings were 87 cents per share. That beat 86 cents per share expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $9.04 billion from $8.07 billion a year ago and handily beat the $8.84 billion analysts expected.

For the full year, the company reported net income of $2.02 billion, or $2.59 per share, up from $1.5 billion, or $2.05 per share, in 2009. Revenue rose to $33.37 billion from $30.91 billion.

Cote said the company is seeing a boost in orders along with a boost in the global economy and is confident for more than 20 percent in earnings growth in 2011.

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