United Technologies Fine Tunes Guidance, Won’t Overwhelm Sagging Dow

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United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) reported third-quarter 2018 results before markets opened Tuesday. The industrial conglomerate posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.93 on revenues of $16.51 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.73 per share on revenues of $15.06 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $1.82 and $16.15 billion in revenues.

Excluded from the adjusted EPS calculation are $0.39 in restructuring and other significant charges for the quarter. Net income came in at $1.2 billion, down 7% year over year.

The company also updated its 2018 full-year outlook, raising the adjusted EPS forecast from a prior range of $7.10 to $7.25 to a new range of $7.20 to $7.30. UTC also raised its sales forecast from a prior $63.5 billion to $64.5 billion to a new range of $64.0 billion to $64.5 billion. The company raised guidance at the end of the second quarter as well.

Free cash flow guidance remained unchanged at $1.3 billion, and the revised forecast excludes any impact from the pending acquisition of Rockwell Collins.

While lifting guidance typically boosts share prices, today’s boost is not moving the needle. Analysts already had full-year EPS at $7.23 and full-year sales at $64.58 billion. The former was near the top of prior guidance and is now near the bottom of the new guidance. The sales forecast is still a little short of existing expectations of $64.58 billion.

The consensus analyst estimates for the fourth quarter are $1.69 in EPS and revenue of $16.62 billion.

Chair and CEO Greg Hayes said:

Organic sales growth of 8 percent is further proof that our investments in innovation are paying off across all of our businesses. We are well positioned to close out the year as we continue to execute on our strategic priorities. The acquisition of Rockwell Collins, once complete, will further strengthen our position as a premier systems supplier to the aerospace industry.

Quarterly sales rose in all four of UTC’s segments, although operating profit in the company’s Pratt & Whitney segment fell from $188 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $109 million. Operating profit at UTC’s aerospace systems segment rose from $572 million to $610 million.

In Tuesday’s premarket session, shares traded up about 0.4% to $126.90, in a 52-week range of $115.40 to $144.15. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock was $153.29 before this morning’s report. The Dow is getting hammered in Tuesday’s premarket and UTC’s earnings aren’t going to help turn that around.

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