United Technologies to spend $3B on M&A in 2010

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 7:27 PM

United Technologies Corp., parent of jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, aerospace manufacturer Hamilton Sundstrand and other businesses, said Thursday it expects to spend roughly $3 billion on mergers and acquisitions next year and $1.5 billion to buy back company stock in a move to boost its bottom line.

In a presentation to investors, President and CEO Louis R. Chenevert also backed 2009 profit guidance of $4.10 per share and forecast 2010 earnings per share in a range of $4.40 to $4.65 on revenue of $54 billion to $55 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who generally exclude one-time items from their estimates, are expecting 2009 earnings per share of $4.11 and 2010 profit of $4.53 a share, which matches the midpoint of the company's guidance. The company's 2010 revenue forecast is ahead of analysts' $53.3 billion average estimate.

"In 2010, we expect continued challenges in the North American and European commercial construction and commercial aerospace OEM markets," Chenevert said. He said some recovery in its commercial businesses, continued strength in the military businesses, and benefits from a weaker U.S. dollar will help United Technologies boost revenue modestly.

"Lower net restructuring costs, productivity gains, and savings from 2008 and 2009 restructuring expenditures will enable all six operating divisions to expand margins in 2010," he added.

GE Security, which is based in Bradenton, Fla., supplies technologies such as its Vigilant-brand fire alarm systems, along with intrusion alarms and video surveillance and access control systems. UTC also owns air conditioner maker Carrier, Otis elevator and Sikorsky Aircraft.

The company said its M&A spending projections for 2010 include the previously announced planned $1.82 billion purchase of General Electric Co.'s fire detection and electronic security business.

Shares rose 52 cents to close at $67.93.