United Tech beats Street, closes Goodrich deal

Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:40pm EDT

(Reuters) - United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) posted second-quarter profit on Thursday that topped analysts' expectations, and closed its largest-ever acquisition, the $16.5 billion takeover of Goodrich Corp GR.N.

The higher-than-expected profit overshadowed the company's warning that full-year earnings would be roughly flat with 2011 due to the weak European economy, as declining sales of spare parts for jet engines and elevators slow revenue growth.

The purchase of Goodrich, a maker of landing gear and other aircraft components, will build on United Tech's current Pratt & Whitney jet engine and Hamilton Sundstrand aircraft electronics arms, increasing the range of equipment it sells to top jet makers Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus EAD.PA.

The world's largest maker of elevators and air conditioners said it would step up planned restructuring spending to $500 million this year from a prior $450 million target, as it copes with a slowing economy.

"It is certainly a challenging environment out there, with a slowing global economy," Chief Executive Louis Chenevert told analysts on a conference call. "We know how to operate in a tough macroeconomic environment."

The Hartford, Connecticut-based company's better-than-expected profit came despite a sharper-than-expected decline in sales. Fellow blue chip 3M Co (MMM.N) also beat quarterly earnings forecasts on Thursday despite light revenue thanks to tight spending controls. [ID:nL2E8IQ1EN]

Second-quarter net income attributable to common shareholders came to $1.33 billion, up less than 1 percent from $1.32 billion a year earlier.

Earnings of $1.62 per share from continuing operations beat the analysts' average forecast of $1.41, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The results were another example of a company managing its way through Europe's woes, analysts said.

"At this point in earnings season, the 'Europe will kill us' thing is being put to rest," said analyst Brian Langenberg, of Langenberg & Co.

Revenue fell 4.6 percent to $13.81 billion from $14.47 billion and below Wall Street estimates of $14.44 billion. Factoring out the weakening euro and the sale of some businesses, revenue would have been up 1 percent.

United Tech shares were up 0.7 percent at $73.10 on Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange, driven by the beat.

GOODNIGHT, GOODRICH

The Goodrich deal, which the companies agreed to in September, closed about a month later than United Tech had hoped for, as it awaited final regulatory approvals. Those came on Thursday, when European, U.S. and Canadian authorities signed off on the deal, with the proviso that United Tech sell Goodrich's power generation and small-engine control operations, which generate about $250 million in annual sales.

"That took the uncertainty off the table," said Matt Collins, an analyst at Edward Jones. "Anytime you hear the European regulators looking into anything, you get nervous."

Investors in the capital goods space are particularly attuned to European reviews of deals, since the European Commission in 2001 blocked General Electric Co (GE.N)'s planned $42 billion takeover of Honeywell International Inc (HON.N).

United Tech's Chenevert, who has served as chairman since 2010, shook up his company's portfolio of businesses to get his hands on Goodrich, which also makes aircraft wheels and brakes.

After shareholders objected to his initial plan to finance the deal in part by selling $4.6 billion in new common shares, Chenevert said he would sell off four smaller businesses -- Rocketdyne, Hamilton Sundstrand's industrial pumps and compressors operations, Clipper Windpower and United Tech's fuel-cell business -- to raise cash for the deal.

United Tech this week reached deals to sell the industrial pumps and compressors units to Carlyle Group LP (CG.O) and BC Partners Ltd, as well as its Rocketdyne space unit to GenCorp Inc (GY.N). Together the businesses raised $4.1 billion.

It expects to reach a deal to sell Clipper over the next few weeks, said Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes.

Those unit sales allowed United Tech to dramatically reduce the amount of equity it needed, and the company in June sold $1 billion of convertible notes to plug the gap.

"We have completed the financing for Goodrich with a structure that was much better than was originally expected," Chenevert said on Thursday, in a rare appearance on the company's quarterly earnings call with investors.

Chenevert said United Tech, whose shares have lost almost 3 percent of their value since it announced the deal in September, had already assigned a team of 50 employees to work on integrating Goodrich and identified some $400 million of annual costs that it expects to cut out of the combined operations over the next five years.

United Tech plans to name former Goodrich CEO Marshall Larsen to its board in September. The new unit will be folded into the company's Propulsion & Aerospace Systems arm, headed by CEO Alain Bellemare.

CUTS 2012 VIEW

United Tech lowered its full-year earnings forecast to a range of $5.25 to $5.35 per share, representing roughly flat profit, down from an April outlook of $5.30 to $5.50.

The company said it expected 2012 sales of $58 billion to $59 billion, representing growth of about 5 percent, compared with the previous forecast of $61 billion to $62 billion.

The euro's fall against the dollar has hit manufacturers this quarter, as it cuts the value of sales made in Europe.

It also lowered its sales forecasts for Otis elevator, largely due to weakness in China, and Pratt & Whitney, where it now expects sales of spare parts for commercial engines to fall 10 percent this year.

United Tech's industrial peers, including GE, Honeywell and Textron Inc (TXT.N), have largely beaten Wall Street's forecasts for the quarter, easing worries about a slowing global economy.

(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, David Gregorio and Matthew Lewis)

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