Is United Technologies Firing on All Cylinders?

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United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) reported its fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The company said that it had $1.60 in earnings per share (EPS) and $15.68 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.56 in EPS on revenue of $15.4 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.56 and $14.66 billion in revenue.

Associated with the tax law change is an estimated, cumulative net cash payment of $1.5 billion to be paid through 2026.

Each of UTC’s businesses grew sales in the fourth quarter:

  • Commercial aftermarket sales were up 25% at Pratt & Whitney to $4.46 billion.
  • UTC Aerospace Systems up 10% to $3.80 billion.
  • Otis new equipment orders increased 1% to $3.25 billion.
  • Equipment orders at UTC Climate, Controls & Security increased 9% organically to $4.52 billion.

Looking ahead to the 2018 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $6.85 to $7.10 and sales in the range of $62.5 billion to $64.0 billion. The consensus estimates call for $7.00 in EPS and $63.08 billion in revenue.

Gregory Hayes, board chair and chief executive, commented:

UTC had a strong finish to 2017. Sales, adjusted EPS and free cash flow were all above the top end of our expectations. Our focus on innovation, execution and cost reduction led to our best year of organic sales growth since 2014, with all businesses contributing. We gained share in our commercial businesses and continued to execute on our growing aerospace backlog. UTC also announced the transformative Rockwell Collins acquisition which will create a premier aerospace supplier. As a result of this proposed transaction, together with the investments in our businesses and in our digital strategies, we are positioned well for years to come.

Shares of UTC closed Tuesday at $136.03, with a consensus analyst price target of $142.44 and a 52-week range of $106.85 to $137.73. Following the announcement, the stock was down only slightly to $135.51 in early trading indications Wednesday.