NEW YORK – United Technologies Corp. (UTX) posted a 32 percent rise in quarterly earnings on Wednesday on growth in its heating and air conditioning business and elevator and escalator operations and recovery in the commercial aerospace aftermarket.
The conglomerate, which owns the Chubb security group, also raised its full-year earnings and cash flow forecasts.
The strong results and forecast helped boost its share price 3 percent.
"UTX reported a blow-out quarter," Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Quinten Nufer said in a note. "We are now seeing clear evidence that the commercial aerospace market is recovering and that restructuring is taking hold at Carrier (search) (air conditioning and refrigeration equipment)."
Second-quarter earnings rose to $837 million, or $1.66 a share, from $632 million, or $1.26 a share, a year earlier.
Revenue grew 24 percent to $9.6 billion, helped by the addition of Chubb and favorable currency moves.
Higher interest income and tax settlement gains offset restructuring charges of $156 million in the quarter, as the company had forecast. The net impact of these items was an increase to earnings of 14 cents a share.
United Tech, which has been restructuring to become a leaner company, said it now expects full-year earnings to grow at least 15 percent, to between $5.40 and $5.50 a share. In April it forecast $5 to $5.30 a share.
The company said cash flow from operations before capital expenditures should equal net income for the year, including contributions to pension plans globally of $500 million.
For the full year, it said charges for cost-cutting will outweigh the favorable impact of tax settlements and a first- quarter contract-related gain.
"We like the way we are positioned for the next several years," Chairman and Chief Executive George David said in a statement.
He expects margins to continue expanding.
The economy appears to be strengthening worldwide, although the big bang is in the United States, David said in a conference call with analysts.
Japan's outlook may be less robust than thought at the moment, but concerns about whether China's economy will have a hard or soft landing appear overdone, he added.
China lags the world in elevators and the United States in air conditioning, providing opportunities for United Tech.
"These are big numbers on saturation and we may see a pause in these really torrid growth rates in China for a while ... but long term I think there is a lot left there," he said.
The company raised its stock buyback guidance for the full year to $800 million. To date, United Tech has repurchased $480 million of stock.
United Tech shares were up $2.83, or 3.12 percent, at $93.40 Wednesday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.