United Technologies (UTX)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 19, 2011 9:00 am ET


Akhil Johri - Vice President, Financial Planning and Investor Relations

Gregory J. Hayes - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President


Howard A. Rubel - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Robert Stallard - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Joseph Nadol - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Heidi R. Wood - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Myles A. Walton - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Julian Mitchell - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Shannon O'Callaghan - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Jeffrey Sprague - Citigroup

Terry Darling - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Deane M. Dray - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Cai Von Rumohr - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division

David E. Strauss - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division



Good morning, and welcome to the United Technologies Third Quarter Conference Call. On the call today are Greg Hayes, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Akhil Johri, Vice President, Financial Planning and Investor Relations. This call is being carried live on the Internet and there is a presentation available for download from UTC's home page at www.utc.com.

The company reminds listeners that the earnings and cash flow expectations and any other forward-looking statements provided in this call are subject to risks and uncertainties. UTC's SEC filings including its 10-Q and 10-K reports, provide details on important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. [Operator Instructions] Please go ahead, Mr. Hayes

Gregory J. Hayes

Okay. Thank you, Gevan, and good morning, everyone. As you guys saw in the press release this morning, another solid quarter. 6% organic sales growth and orders generally in line with expectations despite an uneven macroeconomic environment.

Earnings per share were $1.47 in the quarter and that's up 13% and free cash flow was robust at 132% of net income.

There was a lot of uncertainty and things to worry about in the world economy, and things like continued high unemployment in the U.S. and Europe, weak U.S. housing sector, the banking crisis in Europe and the political impasse in D.C. to name just a few. But importantly, order rates across most of our businesses remain generally in line with our expectations for the year, sustained by continued strength in emerging markets and a resilient commercial aerospace aftermarket. The developed economies have certainly slowed a bit over the past few months and commercial construction markets remain particularly weak in the U.S. and Europe. But the economies in China, India and Brazil, while slowing slightly are still delivering growth rates well above developed economies.

Also, airline traffic continues to hold up and capacity discipline is expected to result in another profitable year for the airlines. In addition, Boeing and Airbus holding a large backlogs have both announced increases in their build rates bullied by emerging market demand and replacement of older, less fuel-efficient fleets. So uncertainty, clearly, but we've operated in this kind of uneven and uncertain economic environment before and we know how to respond. With a slower macro growth outlook, we're taking preemptive steps to position the business to grow earnings next year by taking out even more costs as we -- even as we continue to invest in growth areas and in bringing new technologies to market. So we're increasing our restructuring estimate this year from $200 million previously to $300 million plus while keeping to our commitment of restructuring equal to onetime items for the year.

We still see sales for this year around $58 billion, that's up about 7% from 2010. And with better than expected third quarter results only one quarter to go. We're once again increasing our EPS guidance. We now expect 2011 EPS to be up 15% to $5.47 a share. That's up from our previous guidance of $5.35 to $5.45.

The higher EPS outlook reflects benefits from lower interest costs, lower taxes and higher profits at Sikorsky, partially offset by lower profit expectations at Fire & Security, and around $0.05 of deal costs related to the pending Goodrich acquisition.

On Slide 2 now, turning to third quarter results, as I mentioned sales grew organically at 6%. Carrier had another strong quarter with 9% organic growth driven largely by continued strength in the Transicold business and growth in emerging markets. And Sikorsky grew 21% organically, with higher aftermarket sales and more military aircraft shipments. Earnings per share were $1.47, that's up 13% restructuring expenses of $0.06 in the quarter were partially offset by $0.04 of net positive onetime items. In comparison, restructuring and onetime items in last year's third quarter was a charge of $0.09. So excluding restructuring and onetime items in both third quarters, earnings per share increased this year by 7%. Lastly, FX was a benefit of about $0.04 in the quarter.

Now just the usual reminder that we're going to talk to our segment results excluding restructuring in onetime items. And on that basis, the segment operating margins of 16.3% in the quarter was 10 basis points lower than last year. This benefits from cost reduction and operating leverage from higher sales across the businesses were more than offset by higher E&D investments. E&D was higher by $62 million versus last year's third quarter, all of that increase was at Pratt & Whitney as they continue to develop 4 separate Geared Turbofan platforms.

As I mentioned earlier, free cash flow in the quarter was 132% of net income. That's great performance even as we contribute $156 million in cash to of our domestic venture plans. In addition, we also contributed $450 million of stock to the plans this past quarter. Even at the current low interest rates, our domestic pension plans are now nearly 90% funded, and we don't see the need to make additional contributions to our domestic pension plans through at least the end of next year.

With year-to-date free cash flow of 109% of net income, we now expect free cash flow for the full year to exceed net income. We spent $675 million on share repurchase in the quarter and this concludes our share buyback for the year with a total spend at $2.2 billion. You'll recall that we decided to suspend share buyback for the next 12 months as a result of the Goodrich transaction.

Okay, Slide 3. As you can see, from these order trends, order trends are generally in line with expectations, with the exception of some weakness at Fire & Security. Commercial aerospace aftermarket remains solid, with Pratt & Whitney's large commercial engine spare orders up 3% for the quarter, and that's on top of 35% growth in the last year's third quarter. Hamilton Sundstrand commercial spares were up 24%. That's after 13% growth last year. Carrier's U.S. residential HVAC orders increased mid-single-digits in the quarter. However, we did see a shift in consumer buying pattern with more and more customers opting for lower featured, lower efficiency products. At Otis new equipment orders were up 12% at constant currency, driven by emerging market growth. And we continue to see strong growth in the emerging market with a combined BRIC orders for the Commercial businesses, up a strong 23% this quarter.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

If you liked this article you might like

Go Long Boeing's Stock and Get Handsomely Paid

Go Long Boeing's Stock and Get Handsomely Paid

Jim Cramer on Tariffs: The U.S. Is Protecting Workers at the Expense of Capital

Jim Cramer on Tariffs: The U.S. Is Protecting Workers at the Expense of Capital

Jim Cramer: I Think United Technologies Is Headed for a Breakup

Jim Cramer: I Think United Technologies Is Headed for a Breakup

Facebook's Cambridge Analytica Debacle Will Have Wall Street Talking Monday

Facebook's Cambridge Analytica Debacle Will Have Wall Street Talking Monday

United Technologies: Cramer's Top Takeaways

United Technologies: Cramer's Top Takeaways