HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The chief executive of United Technologies Corp. said Thursday that share buybacks of up to $1 billion will resume in 2013, more than a year after repurchases were suspended as the conglomerate bought Goodrich Corp. for $18.4 billion.
The amount is half of repurchases previously authorized by the Hartford, Conn.-based parent company of jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aircraft, Otis elevator and other aerospace and building systems manufacturers. And it even disappoints CEO Louis Chenevert, who wants to restore share buybacks to their previous levels.
"I'd love to do two-plus billion," he told investor analysts.
The share repurchases signal that a company expects its stock to go up and also increase the company's earnings per share, a key measure investors use to gauge a stock's value.
Chenevert said United Technologies will not make any more large purchases, focusing instead on smaller deals costing a total of $1 billion next year.
"Big deals in my view are done," he said.
Chenevert also said he expects two or three years of what he called a "hard environment" for business in Europe. The region accounted for 26 percent of net sales in 2011.
United Technologies suspended share buybacks in September 2011 when it announced its acquisition of Charlotte, N.C.-based Goodrich, which makes airplane parts. United Technologies said it halted the repurchases to maintain its credit ratings and promised to cut buybacks in half, to about $1 billion a year, when resuming the purchases.
The Goodrich deal, which was United Technologies' biggest purchase, closed in July.
Shares of United Technologies rose $1.11 to $79.94 in afternoon trading. The stock is up about 9 percent in the year to date.