United Tech CEO reaffirms 2010 profit guidance, says 2nd-quarter trends are improving

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

United Tech CEO backs 2010 profit guidance

HARTFORD, Conn. — The chief executive officer of United Technologies Corp. reaffirmed the conglomerate’s 2010 profit guidance Tuesday, saying second-quarter order trends are improving.

CEO Louis Chenevert said at an analysts’ conference that United Technologies expects growth to resume this quarter, but is relying on “significant improvements” in the second half of the year, particularly in commercial jet engine maintenance and repair at its Pratt & Whitney unit and in the company’s fire and security business.

The parent company of Pratt & Whitney, Otis elevator, Sikorsky helicopters and other businesses continues to expect earnings of $4.50 to $4.65 per share this year, he said.

“So far, second-quarter trends continue to show broad improvement and we remain highly confident in our guidance in spite of the weakening euro,” Chenevert said. He added that it’s difficult to know how European debt problems may spread.

The euro fell to a four-year low against the dollar earlier in the week due to fears that the debt crisis facing Greece could spread to weaker eurozone countries. Investors believe the dollar’s strength, combined with weaker growth in Europe, could reduce demand for U.S. exports and hurt the recovery that U.S. companies, particularly manufacturers, are enjoying.

United Technologies’ first-quarter profit jumped 20 percent, the first increase in a year as it cited cost-cutting efforts to boost productivity. It also raised the lower end of its 2010 profit guidance in April to $4.50 per share from $4.40.

Shares climbed 39 cents to $71.42 in afternoon trading.

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