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Honeywell's (HON) New Louisiana Facility Goes Onstream

Zacks Equity Research

Industrial goods manufacturer Honeywell International Inc. HON pledged its support yet again for eco-friendly products with the announcement of the start of commercial operations in its new manufacturing plant in Geismar, LA. The facility will manufacture HFO-1234yf, sold commercially as Solstice yf, to meet the increasing demand for this environment friendly air conditioning refrigerant for the auto industry.

Developed indigenously, Solstice yf has a global-warming-potential (GWP) of less than one. This is lower than carbon dioxide and 99.9% lower than R-134a – the most widely used refrigerant in the automotive industry – with a GWP of 1300. R-134a is a hydrofluorocarbon and is usually held responsible for producing extensive greenhouse gases. Consequently, several countries and industries are increasingly looking out for other alternatives like Solstice yf in order to phase out this pollutant.

Honeywell has invested significantly to build this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Louisiana, which is likely to become the world’s largest producer of Solstice yf. In the process, the company also created several jobs in the area to boost the economic development of the region. With a ramp up in production, 40 million cars are expected to use Solstice yf by the end of 2017, up from its present tally of 20 million. Higher adoption of this refrigerant across the globe will reportedly reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by over 30 million cars from the road.

With such state-of-the-art products, Honeywell aims to gain a competitive edge over its rivals and augment its revenues. Based in Morris Township, NJ, Honeywell manufactures a wide range of aerospace products and services, including control, sensing and security technologies for buildings, homes and industry. It also produces turbochargers, automotive products, specialty chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, process technology for refining and petrochemicals, and energy efficient products and solutions for homes and business.

The company has outperformed the Diversified Operations industry in the last three months with an average return of 5.9% compared with a paltry 0.2% gain for the latter. We remain impressed with the inherent growth potential of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the industry include 3M Company MMM, Federal Signal Corporation FSS and United Technologies Corporation UTX, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

3M has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 9.7%. It surpassed estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 1.3%.

Federal Signal topped estimates twice in the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 3.1%.

United Technologies has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8.5%. It surpassed estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 5.4%

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