Restructuring charge clips Johnson Controls

Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. reported a fiscal fourth quarter net loss of $8.0 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with net income of $234 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The most recent quarter included a $245 million restructuring charge, resulting in a net charge of 33 cents per diluted share. The company also incurred a $35 million charge related to discontinuing its lead-processing operations at its battery plant in Shanghai, China.

The company’s quarterly net sales dipped to $10.4 billion from $10.8 billion.

“While the macro-economic environment was challenging, in the fourth quarter we significantly improved profitability in Building Efficiency, Power Solutions and North America Automotive Experience. European automotive and buildings markets continued to soften in the quarter, offsetting our gains elsewhere,” said Stephen Roell, Johnson Controls chairman and chief executive officer. “In response to the challenges in some of our key markets, we recently announced restructuring actions. We believe these initiatives better align resources with our current strategies and will help us to increase profitability in what we expect will be a low-growth environment next year.”

Looking forward, Roell said, “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. We will be diligent in controlling costs, but remain committed to making investments that support our long-term growth and profitability strategies and will drive improvements in shareholder value.”

Roell added, “Lastly, I would like to thank our 170,000 Johnson Controls employees around the world for delivering record sales and earnings in fiscal 2012 in a difficult environment.”

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