United Technologies Reiterates 2014 Earnings Guidance


Diversified business conglomerate United Technologies Corp. (UTX) recently reiterated its earnings guidance for 2014 prior to an investor meeting. The outlook was probably based on steady improvements in key end markets and solid execution of its operational plans. At the same time, the company is likely to remain committed to delivering sustainable organic growth through continued focus on product development, best-in-class margins and strong cash generation.

While reaffirming its earnings expectations for 2014 in the range of $6.75 - $6.85 per share, United Technologies observed that its revenues will aggregate about $65 billion. The earnings outlook represents year-over-year growth of 9%–10%. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 is pegged at the high end of the guided range at $6.85.

A strong order backlog and a moderate recovery in the global economy have possibly given an added confidence to United Technologies to maintain its guidance. United Technologies has largely benefited from two global trends – increased urbanization and a spurt in commercial flight. However, the company’s military business is likely to be affected by spending cuts on federal projects.

United Technologies further intends to increase its share repurchase tally in 2014 to $1.35 billion – up from the previously announced figure of $1.25 billion. Over the years, the company has consistently provided attractive risk-adjusted returns to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

Based in Hartford, CT, United Technologies provides high-end technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company serves various end markets such as aerospace, defense and commercial construction. Business diversification allows United Technologies to remain profitable amid tough economic times.

The operations of the company are primarily classified into two principal businesses: commercial and aerospace. Under its commercial business, the company has Otis and the UTC Climate, Controls & Security division, which combined the former Carrier and UTC Fire & Security divisions. The aerospace business of the company consists of Sikorsky aircraft and UTC Propulsion & Aerospace Systems, which includes UTC Aerospace Systems and Pratt & Whitney divisions.

United Technologies presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other better-ranked companies in the industry include Federal Signal Corp. (FSS), ITT Corporation (ITT) and Macquarie Infrastructure Co. LLC (MIC), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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