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) --

United Technologies

(UTX) - Get Free Report

has raised its first quarter dividend by 10.4% to 42.5 cents per common share.

"This dividend increase demonstrates our confidence in UTC's financial strength and in our ability to continue to deliver outstanding performance in 2010 and beyond," United Technologies' chief, Louis Chenevert said.

The company claims to be stronger than a year ago as a result of structural cost reduction, effective cash redeployment and portfolio transformation.

The dividend is payable March 10 to shareowners of record at the close of business Feb. 19. The ex-dividend date is Feb. 17.

United Technologies stock settled at $65.40, down 1.7%. United Technologies provides high-tech products and services to the aerospace and building industries worldwide.

A few related stocks have also closed the trading session lower.

General Electric

(GE) - Get Free Report

edged down 1.2% to $15.60, while


( GR) has inched lower to $61.90, down 1%.


(HEI) - Get Free Report

tumbled 1.9% to $41.20.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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