How Earnings at United Technologies Will Fare

On Tuesday, United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

A member of the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , United Technologies has a wide range of businesses under its roof, ranging from elevator manufacturing to heating and cooling systems for institutional customers. But aerospace has become the company's bread and butter, and it will continue to gain importance into the future. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with United Technologies over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on United Technologies

Analyst EPS Estimate

$1.30

Change From Year-Ago EPS

(0.8%)

Revenue Estimate

$14.94 billion

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

20.2%

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

4

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will United Technologies be able to keep earnings up this quarter?
Analysts have recently upgraded their views on United Technologies and its earnings prospects, with an increase in their consensus for the just-ended quarter by $0.02 per share. They've also bumped up full-year 2013 estimates by triple that amount, helping to send the stock to all-time record highs and gain almost 10% just since mid-January.

United Tech has continued to move forward after having completed its acquisition of aircraft component maker Goodrich last year, focusing more heavily on the aerospace industry. In recent months, United Tech has made several asset sales on non-core divisions, with the latest coming last month when it sold its electrical power systems unit to France's Safran for $400 million.

But on the defense front, United Tech could see pressure from the end of some successful programs. Earlier this month, the company said that it had successfully completed its production of F117 engines for the Air Force's fleet of C-17 aircraft and expects to shift to a much slower pace to provide spare replacement engines as needed. With tough conditions in the Defense Department, it'll be harder than ever for United Tech to replace maturing contracts with new business.

Still, the commercial aircraft space holds huge promise for United Tech. The company's Pratt & Whitney engine manufacturer has a long-standing relationship with Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , which itself has projected trillions of dollars of orders for commercial aircraft over the next 20 years. But United Tech has also branched out beyond Boeing, with the announcement last month that it will supply a range of components, including engines, electrical systems, and brake systems, for Embraer (NYSE: ERJ  ) . Given the E-Jets manufacturer's strong growth in the face of Latin American expansion, Embraer has great promise, and United Tech is smart to latch onto it.

In United Tech's earnings report, watch for ongoing signs of how well the integration of the Goodrich acquisition is going. After such a massive buyout, it can take a long time for the corporate culture to gel back into place, but United Tech has such strong prospects that it should be able to get everyone behind its profit opportunities.

United Tech relies on Boeing for a big part of its business. But will Boeing live up to its full potential? In our premium research report on the company, two of The Motley Fool's best minds on industrials have collaborated to provide investors with the key, must-know issues surrounding Boeing. They'll be updating the report as key news hits, so don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.

Click here to add United Technologies to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.


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