MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Honeywell Inc. said today its fourth-quarter earnings rose 16 percent as increased sales and gains from selling businesses offset restructuring costs.

Honeywell earned $178.1 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, in the October-December period, up from $153.2 million, or $1.21 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

The company, which makes thermostats, control systems and automation devices, said sales rose 10 percent to $2.33 billion from $2.12 billion.

The quarterly earnings include a $16.8 million gain for the sale of businesses and a $30.3 million charge for restructuring in Honeywell's home and building control and industrial control divisions.

The results were in line with analysts' expected earnings of $1.40 per share, according to First Call Corp. But Honeywell shares were down 87 1/2 cents at $67.68 3/4 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chairman and chief executive Michael Bonsignore cited strong growth in the company's space and aviation controls and industrial controls division. Honeywell's North American home and buildings control division fell short of expectations, he said, and the company would continue aggressive cost-cutting.

Honeywell in October announced plans to cut between 400 and 500 jobs in the division.

For the year, Honeywell earned $471 million, or $3.71 per common share, compared with $402.7 million, or $3.18 per share in 1996. Sales rose to $8.03 billion from $7.31 billion.

Honeywell incurred $90.7 million in restructuring charges over the full year and a $77 million gain from selling businesses.