Johnson Controls stock hits 52-week high

The common stock for Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. today reached a new 52-week high of $40.06, above its previous high of $38.33.

The company today reported fiscal third quarter net income of $594 million, or 83 cents per share, up from $456 million, or 63 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The manufacturer of automotive parts and building controls systems reported quarterly net sales of $10.8 billion, up from $10.6 billion a year earlier.

Johnson Controls said that in the third quarter it was awarded a $70 million building technology contract for the new one-million-square-foot Veteran’s Administration Hospital under construction in Denver, Colo. The contract is in addition to a previous $5 million award to Johnson Controls for York HVAC equipment and includes a Metasys control system, fire alarm system, security system, advanced utility metering, nurse call and IT systems. The project is the largest single Systems contract ever won by Johnson Controls.

Today, the company also announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Automotive Electronics’ HomeLink product line to Gentex Corp. of Zeeland, MI for approximately $700 million.

Johnson Controls said that the continuing process to sell the remainder of its Electronics business is progressing as planned and that it is targeting an announcement of a definitive agreement on or before its 2013 fourth quarter earnings release date. The company said that separating HomeLink from the rest of the Electronics business is expected to maximize value as the individual businesses offer distinct advantages and synergies for different sets of strategic buyers.

“We are pleased with the significant improvement in profitability of all three businesses in the third quarter. Our initiatives to reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies continue to gather momentum and deliver margin expansion,” said Stephen Roell, Johnson Controls chairman and chief executive officer. “Despite a challenging production environment, our European automotive business generated a profit in the quarter and profitability improved in our automotive metals business. Cash flow in the quarter was very strong, enabling us to reduce net debt by more than $550 million. I’d like to recognize the support of our 168,000 employees and thank them for a very good quarter.”

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