(By Balaseshan) Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE: JCI), a provider of automotive interiors, reported a quarterly loss due to restructuring charge, accounting charge for pension and retiree medical benefits and a tax charge related to discontinuing lead-processing Shanghai, China battery plant operations.
Loss for the fourth quarter was $8 million or $0.01 per share, compared to a profit of $234 million or $0.34 per share last year. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) rose to $0.77 from $0.76.
Sales declined 4% to $10.39 billion. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, revenues increased 1%.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $0.75 per share on revenue of $10.84 billion for the fourth quarter.
Sales from Building Efficiency decreased 7% as higher revenues in Asia were more than offset by lower sales in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.
Automotive Experience sales declined 2%, as higher production volumes in North America and Asia and new program launches were more than offset by a weaker Euro and lower production volumes in Europe.
North American automotive revenues grew 13%, while European sales were down 15%. Sales in Asia increased 2% on a 21% growth in China revenues.
Power Solutions sales were unchanged. Solid growth with North American OEMs, increased market share gains in the European aftermarket, and strength in Asia were partially offset by continued soft aftermarket demand in North America and lower shipments to European OEMs.
Looking ahead, the company believes softening end markets and negative foreign currency will limit its ability to grow revenues and earnings in the upcoming year. It also anticipates a higher effective tax rate of 20% in 2013 due to an increased percentage of total earnings coming from the United States.
The company expects 2013 first-half earnings to be significantly lower than the same period of 2012 with higher year-over-year earnings in the second half of the year. It believes the financial benefits of the restructuring announced in the current quarter will begin to accrue in the second half of fiscal 2013.
"As we look forward to fiscal 2013, we are expecting continued challenges in our end markets. We will benefit from our automotive and buildings backlogs, but we expect limited opportunity for top-line growth in the coming year," said Stephen Roell, Johnson Controls Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
In response to the challenges in some of key markets, the company recently announced restructuring actions. JCI believes these initiatives better align resources with its current strategies and will help it to increase profitability in what the company expects will be a low-growth environment next year.
The company expects full-year 2013 earnings to be flat to slightly higher than 2012. Johnson Controls said it will provide additional fiscal 2013 guidance at its annual New York analyst day on December 19.
JCI closed Friday's regular session at $25.81. The stock has been trading between $23.37 and $35.95 for the past 52 weeks.