The Hartford, Conn., helicopter-and-elevator conglomerate made $721 million, or 71 cents a share, before an accounting change in the quarter ended Dec. 31. A year ago United Technologies made $612 million, or 61 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were looking for 70 cents.
Revenue rose 14% from a year ago and 9% on a so-called organic basis, excluding the effect of acquisitions, to $11.3 billion. Analysts had been looking for $11.1 billion.
Including a $95 million charge to reflect the company's adoption of FASB Interpretation No. 47 (Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations), the latest-quarter profit was 62 cents a share.
Cash flow from operations after capital expenditures exceeded net income for both the quarter and the full year. In the fourth quarter, cash flow from operations was $1.15 billion and capital expenditures were $345 million. For the full year, cash flow from operations was $4.33 billion and capital expenditures were $929 million. Voluntary contributions to pension plans were $298 million in the fourth quarter and $663 million for the year.
"We had an exceptional year in 2005 and see more of the same in 2006," said CEO George David.
"We're starting 2006 with lots of momentum," David added. "We confirm expectations for earnings per share in the range of $3.40 to $3.55 and for cash flow after capital expenditures equal to net income for the year. We also expect to continue the current share repurchase rate into 2006, taking the total to approximately $1.5 billion for the year."