March 14, 2013 / 5:40 PM / in 5 years

United Tech expects to do few M&A deals in 2013 -CFO

March 14 (Reuters) - Diversified U.S. manufacturer United Technologies Corp will likely spend less than the $1 billion it had budgeted for takeover deals in 2013, chief financial officer Greg Hayes said on Thursday.

“There is, quite frankly, not much in the pipeline right now from an M&A standpoint,” Hayes told investors at a meeting in New York. “We’re more focused on execution than acquisitions this year.”

The world’s largest maker of elevators and air conditioners last year closed its largest-ever acquisition, the $16.5 billion takeover of aircraft components maker Goodrich Corp.

That deal has proved well-timed, with the Hartford, Connecticut-based company, which also makes jet engines, expecting a rebound in demand for spare parts from airlines later this year, Hayes said.

United Tech may buy back more shares than the $1 billion worth it had originally planned for, he added.

That could help to offset weaker demand from the U.S. military, which is cutting spending as a result of the mandatory budget cuts imposed by the sequester, a deal for $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts that U.S. President Barack Obama and the Republicans that lead the House of Representatives agreed to last year.

Outside of defense, Hayes said the U.S. economy was picking up.

“The U.S. economy is better and it’s going to continue to get better,” Hayes said in remarks monitored over the internet.

The company on Thursday confirmed its full-year profit forecast, which calls for earnings of $5.85 to $6.15 per share, which would represent growth of roughly 13 percent.

United Tech shares were up 22 cents to $93.30 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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