* Sees 2013 EPS $5.85-$6.15
* Sees organic sales up 3 percent to 5 percent
* Aims to buy back about $1 bln in shares next year
By Ernest Scheyder
NEW YORK, Dec 13 United Technologies Corp
expects its profit to rise about 13 percent next year,
with growing demand for its systems that are used in buildings
helping to offset lower U.S. defense spending.
The world's No. 1 maker of elevators and air conditioners,
whose other businesses include jet engines and helicopters, on
Thursday projected 2013 earnings of between $5.85 to $6.15 per
share. The midpoint would represent a 13 percent rise from the
$5.32 per share it expects to report for 2012.
Analysts, on average, expect 2013 earnings of $6.12 per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Chief Executive Louis Chenevert said at the company's
analyst meeting in New York Thursday that the company can
generate at least $5.85 per share next year even if the U.S.
falls off the fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax hikes that
would take effect in January if Washington lawmakers fail to
agree on a budget deal.
Chenevert said he's hopeful Congress can reach a deal by
Dec. 31, but cautioned that United Technologies has held off on
some capital spending due to the uncertainty.
"The economy wants to go," he told reporters. "Things want
to get better. Removing that uncertainty that's out there will
help the economy start to flourish."
Growth for United Technologies will come from
mid-single-digit percentage sales increases in the United States
and Asia, he said, while sales in Europe should be roughly flat.
"The two biggest drivers of the economy are consumer
spending and housing showing signs of recovery," he said, "and
oil prices that have settled down."
The company also said it plans to buy back about $1 billion
of its shares, though Chenevert said he would like to push that
United Tech expects 2013 revenue to reach $64 billion to $65
billion, an 11 percent rise from the $58 billion it now expects
for 2012. Wall Street had expected sales to reach $66.4 billion
It anticipates sales of jet engines and other equipment to
commercial airlines and recovering demand from the construction
sector for its Otis elevators and Carrier air conditioners to
offset a decline in sales of military engines and helicopters.
It forecast organic sales -- a measure that excludes the
effects of acquisitions and currency fluctuations -- to rise 3
percent to 5 percent.
This has been an eventful year for the Hartford,
Connecticut-based company. In July, United Technologies closed
its largest-ever acquisition, the $16.5 billion takeover of
aircraft components maker Goodrich. It sold several smaller
operations to help fund the deal after Wall Street objected to
Chenevert's initial financing plan of selling shares.
Having closed those deals, Chenevert said the company is
focused on existing businesses, not pursuing other deals.
"The transformation is essentially complete," he said.
Faced with the uncertainty of the U.S. budget standoff in
Washington, a downturn in Europe and uneven growth in major
Asian economies, big U.S. manufacturers this week have offered
cautious guidance for 2013.
Earlier this week, 3M Co set a 2013 profit target
that would represent growth of about 8 percent and Honeywell
International Inc set one that at its midpoint called
for an 8.5 percent increase.
General Electric Co is due to lay out its
expectations for 2013 on Monday, though the largest U.S.
conglomerate does not make numeric, per-share profit forecasts.
United Tech shares slipped 1 percent to $79.42 in light
post-market trading, from a close of $80.37 on the New York
Stock Exchange. The shares are up about 9 percent over the past
year, a touch behind the Dow Jones industrial average,
which has risen 10 percent.