United Technologies sees 2010 profit rise

AP News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2009 1:47 PM

The chief financial officer of United Technologies Corp. said Wednesday the industrial conglomerate will likely have a higher profit next year due to cost-cutting even as revenue remains flat.

CFO Greg Hayes said at an analysts' conference that cost-cutting "gives us confidence we will grow earnings in 2010, high confidence in that even with revenues that will probably be flattish."

United Technologies' commercial construction and aerospace businesses will continue to have a "tough go of it," though he said the conglomerate, based in Hartford, expects growth in the fourth quarter in the Carrier heating, ventilating and air conditioning and other residential businesses.

The parent company of Otis elevator, jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aircraft and other businesses has increased restructuring costs this year to $800 million from $750 million. That includes the elimination of 14,000 jobs.

Hayes backed the company's earnings guidance for 2009 at $4.10 per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect earnings for the year to be $4.11 per share.

CEO Louis Chenevert is scheduled to give analysts a detailed 2010 outlook on Dec. 10.

United Technologies announced last week it will buy General Electric Co.'s fire detection and electronic security business for $1.82 billion in a deal to expand its similar operations in North America.

Hayes said it was United Technologies' largest purchase since it bought Kidde, a British fire and safety company, in 2005 for about $3 billion

"It's a fair price and a great business fit," he said.

Shares fell 96 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $68.58 in afternoon trading.