United Technologies Corp. credited rebounding aerospace markets and continuing benefits from restructuring Wednesday as it said third-quarter profit jumped 13 percent.
The manufacturer of jet engines, elevators, heating and cooling equipment and other aerospace and building components also said it expects per-share profits for the year to reach $4.70, the top end of earlier guidance set at $4.60 to $4.70. That's still below expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who forecast earnings per share of $4.72.
Chief Executive Officer Louis Chenevert credited "sustained and structural cost reduction" for the strong quarter.
"As expected, commercial aerospace aftermarket orders have rebounded nicely but the commercial construction markets remain weak," he said.
The Hartford conglomerate said it earned $1.2 billion, or $1.30 per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $1.06 billion, or $1.14 per share in the third quarter last year. Revenue was $13.53 billion, up slightly from $13.38 billion in the year-ago period, the second consecutive quarterly increase.
Results included restructuring charges of 9 cents per share.
Analysts expected earnings per share of $1.28 on revenue of $13.93 billion. Analysts usually do not include one-time charges in their predictions.
Shares rose 15 cents to $73.76 in afternoon trading.
Chenevert said the parent company of jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, Otis elevator, Sikorsky aircraft and other businesses benefited from exceptional cash generation and made additional contributions of $350 million to domestic pension plans.
United Technologies also boosted its restructuring estimate for the year by $100 million, to $350 million.
Analyst Rick Whittington of JSA Research Inc. said he was disappointed in the company's revenue.
"Otis and Carrier are not kicking in yet," he said. "The building side is still a little punky."
Profit is strong at United Technologies' building components businesses, but revenue gains will not likely occur until next year, Whittington said.
Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes said Wednesday that pension expenses will translate to a 20 cent-per share cost and rising taxes next year will cost 15 cents per share.
"While we do face multiple head winds such as higher pensions, taxes and engineering investment as well as slow recovery in many of our end markets, we are committed to double-digit earnings growth in 2011," he said.
New equipment orders at Otis were down 1 percent over the year-ago quarter and commercial heating and cooling equipment orders at Carrier rose 3 percent.
However, commercial spare part orders at Pratt & Whitney's large engine business grew 35 percent and rose by 13 percent at Hamilton Sundstrand, a manufacturer of aerospace components.
United Technologies weathered the recession by cutting costs and axing jobs. The restructuring helped blunt the impact of the downturn on subsidiaries such as Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand, which are exposed to weaknesses in the airline industry.
The conglomerate's building products subsidiaries _ Carrier, which makes heating and cooling equipment, and Otis elevator _ were hit by the falling residential and commercial real estate markets.
The Hartford company reported an increase in revenue for only the first time in two years in the second quarter.