United Tech stands by 2017 forecast on demand for jet engines

Gregory Hayes, president and chief executive officer of United Technologies Corp., speaks during an event at Carrier Corp. in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

United Technologies posted a fourth-quarter profit, compared with a year-ago loss, and reiterated its 2017 profit and sales forecasts, buoyed by demand for Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines and parts for the aerospace industry.

The maker of Otis Elevators and Carrier air conditioners had said a month ago that it expected 2017 adjusted earnings of $6.30-$6.60 per share on sales of $57.5 billion-$59.0 billion, forecasts that it stood by on Wednesday.

Analyst on average expect a profit of $6.56 per share and revenue of $58.86 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Despite an uncertain global macro environment, our growing aerospace backlog and strategic investments in the commercial businesses position us well to generate higher organic growth in 2017," Chief Executive Officer Gregory Hayes said.

The company's net income from continuing operations attributable to shareholders was $1.02 billion, or $1.26 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $256 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier when it incurred restructuring and other charges.

On an adjusted basis, United Technologies earned $1.56 per share, matching analysts average estimate.

United Technologies, which faces weak sales in China and Europe, said net sales rose 2.5 percent to $14.66 billion.

That fell short of analysts' average estimate of $14.70 billion.

Sales in Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies' second-biggest business, rose nearly 4 percent to $3.99 billion.

The company had increased production of engines for the new Airbus A320neo aircraft after manufacturing problems led to a delivery shortfall in the previous quarter.

UTC's shares have risen about 8 percent since Donald Trump's election as U.S. president on Nov. 8 on hopes that the defense sector will boost from his military spending.