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United Technologies Lifts Estimates After Net Rises

Wednesday, 21 Jul 2010 08:19 AM

United Technologies Corp. said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit jumped nearly 14 percent as aerospace and transportation orders improved.

The parent company of jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, Otis elevators and Sikorsky Aircraft also raised its 2010 earnings guidance based on a strong performance in the first half of the year and improving order rates.

The Hartford, Conn. company earned $1.11 billion, or $1.20 per share, in the period ended June 30, up from $976 million, or $1.05 per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose to $13.89 billion from $13.2 billion a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.16 per share on revenue of $13.56 billion.

Results for the quarter include a charge of 12 cents per share for restructuring and one-time items, compared with a charge of 16 cents per share in the second quarter of 2009.

Operating profit rose at each of United Technologies' businesses, though revenue slumped at Otis elevator and aerospace manufacturer Hamilton Sundstrand. Revenue rose 6 percent at Pratt & Whitney and soared nearly 22 percent in the quarter at Sikorsky, which makes commercial and military helicopters.

"The return of revenue growth, combined with our cost reduction actions, led to solid earnings growth," CEO Louis Chenevert said in a statement.

He also said the company's cost-cutting drove operating margins to a "record high."

United Technologies' aerospace businesses were hurt as the airline industry made deep cuts during the recession, but the company experienced improvement in that area in the period. Operating profit at Pratt & Whitney jumped nearly 12 percent and rose 9 percent at aerospace manufacturer Hamilton Sundstrand.

Otis elevator, which benefited from a construction boom in China, posted a 3.9 percent drop in revenue for the quarter, but operating profit was up less than 2 percent.

United Technologies raised its profit guidance for 2010, based on strong performance in the first half of the year. It now expects to earn between $4.60 per share and $4.70, up from a range of $4.50 per share to $4.65. The range includes a charge of 20 cents per share for restructuring and one-time items.

Chenevert said the company's cash generation remains strong. United Technologies said it will increase share repurchases this year to $2 billion, up from a prior expectation of $1.5 billion.

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