Johnson Controls Profit Falls 63 Percent In 3Q

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Johnson Controls Inc. said Monday its fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 63 percent, despite cost cutting to control expenses amid weakened economic conditions.

The Milwaukee-based the auto parts and building products maker posted income of $163 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with $439 million, or 73 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Sales fell 29 percent to $7 billion from $9.9 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 18 cents per share on sales of $7.4 billion for the quarter ended June 30.

"The cost improvement initiatives we undertook earlier this year are providing the expected benefits," said Steve Roell, Johnson's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "We believe the company is well positioned to further increase our profitability in our fourth quarter and into 2010."

Johnson Controls said sales in its automotive unit fell 38 percent to $3 billion on lower production volumes. General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group temporarily shut down factories during the quarter while reorganizing under bankruptcy protection. Overall, the unit lost $14 million in the quarter, compared with a profit of $199 million the same quarter of 2008.

A drop in construction spending pushed sales in Johnson's building efficiency unit down 14 percent to $3.2 billion from $3.7 billion. The company said lower HVAC equipment volumes and consumers putting off discretionary maintenance projects contributed to the decline.

Sales in the company's power solutions unit fell 39 percent to $856 million from $1.4 billion.

Shares of Johnson Controls rose 83 cents, or 3.9 percent to $22.35 in premarket activity. The stock has ranged from $8.35 to $36 over the past year.

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