United Tech Confirms Earnings Outlook

United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  )  is sticking to its guns, and doubling down on its earlier predictions for 2013 earnings and revenues.

In a statement released Thursday morning, the industrial conglomerate confirmed that it expects to earn between $5.85 and $6.15 per share this year on sales of $64 billion to $65 billion. The company further advised that on the crucial "cash profitability" metric, it expects free cash flow to be "equal to or in excess of net income attributable to common shareowners."

Mathematically, what this works out to is free cash flow that could range anywhere from $4.95 billion to as high as $5.2 billion -- or more. However, in order to satisfy shareholders, the number had better be the "more" variant. Last year, UTC generated $5.26 billion in free cash flow, so anything less than that number this year would likely be viewed as bad news.

On the other hand, investors focusing on GAAP earnings will note that even the low end of UTC's earnings outlook would represent a modest 3.3% increase in per-share earnings from last year, and the high end -- 8.6%.

Investors appear to be hedging their bets. United Technologies shares are modestly higher in Thursday trading, up 0.2%, to $93.29.

 

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