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John,its still lonely on this sight.I have no personal connection to HON and no particular insights from my own life experiences since I"ve spent my life working for non-profits and more recently as a self employed artist.
That said ,I am hanging in.Both ALD and HON have always been fairly valued as measured by PE ratios.HON at present is paying 3.2% dividend,and I took some profits off the table in the late 90's.
I felt that ALD under Bossidy was well diversified and that was a strong part of why I bought the stock-35%aerospace and avionics,38% automotive parts,and 27%chemicals and plastics. His utilation of GE's six Sigma program assured annual 6%-8% top line growth.In retrospect it was an example of strong steady growth in a growing economy.
I was as disappointed as others when the HON- GE merger was not approved by the European Common Market.
Now with the benefit of hindsight,that merger would have exascerbated HON's present problems.HON as a conglomerate now is less diversified than ALD. Aeorospace and Avioics 71% ,15% truck and automotive,and 14% chenicals,and plastics.Given the recession in airline plane utilization both pre 9/11 and now,HON is particularly and correctly identified as being an underperformer.Cost cutting measures-staff reduction and outsourcing production to lower costs coupled with a solid 2$Billion cash coffer should allow continued gradual growth earnings per share in our weakened economy.Once our economy is stronger,growth and perhaps more aquisitions will follow.
Those are my thoughts.I don't have any particular insights into the issues of post merger integration. John
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