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United Tech profit rises 17.8%, affirms full-year forecast

[BENGALURU] United Technologies Corp, the maker of Otis elevators, Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines and Carrier air conditioners, beat analysts' expectations with a 17.8 per cent rise in first-quarter profit, helped by higher sales in all four of its business units.

The results showed a "solid quarter" for the company, "which should continue to support the stock at current levels," Peter Arment, an analyst at Baird Equity Research, wrote in a note.

United Tech shares were up 0.7 per cent at US$117.70 in premarket trading.

The company on Wednesday reported 30 per cent growth of new orders in Europe, a sign of strengthening economic conditions, Chief Financial Officer Akhil Johri said in an interview.

But China remained a tough environment, with orders falling 10 per cent in dollar terms, but were up 1 per cent in volume terms, he said, noting that United Tech is looking to buy local elevator makers in China as the sector consolidates.

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Net income attributable to common shareholders rose to US$1.39 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, from US$1.18 billion a year earlier. The company affirmed its earnings forecast for the full year of US$6.30 to US$6.60 a share.

Earnings per share attributable to common shareholders rose to US$1.73 from US$1.42, including a one-time gain of 25 cents.

Excluding the gain, earnings rose to US$1.48 a share, compared with the consensus analyst estimate of $1.39 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales increased 3.4 per cent to US$13.82 billion.


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