A big earnings hit from United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) has helped the markets climb higher today, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has gained more than 40 points as of 2:20 p.m. EDT. UTC's not the only blue-chip stock to have reported quarterly results today, but it's the best member of the Dow today, leading a group of modest risers on the index. Let's go around the Dow to catch up on the earnings action you need to know about.
UTC hits the mark
Industrial conglomerate United Technologies' acquisition of aerospace parts maker Goodrich last year helped the company's sales climb 16% year over year for the most recent quarter -- part of a strong report that has propelled the stock higher by 3.3% so far today. Earnings per share grew by more than 27% to $1.70, smashing average analyst projections of $1.58.
The success was enough to push UTC to raise its expectations for 2013: The firm announced that full-year EPS could climb between 12% and 15%. High demand in the aerospace sector has made the company's acquisition of Goodrich a well-timed buy, and UTC's CEO is confident that the economy's ongoing recovery will only strengthen that momentum. It's not just the U.S. providing growth, however: Sales from the company's Otis elevator unit in China grew by 39% for the quarter.
Fellow Dow member DuPont (NYSE: DD ) wasn't able to match UTC, posting earnings that missed expectations. However, the results haven't shaken up the stock: DuPont's shares are up 0.7% so far today. EPS fell by about 12% for the quarter, and sales dipped by 1%, with both results falling below Wall Street's projections after the company's performance chemicals division weighed on overall results.
DuPont is considering spinning off or selling the division, among other ideas, as it looks to pivot toward higher-growth businesses. The firm's agricultural business has traditionally been strong, but unseasonal weather this spring dented the segment's performance. Still, agricultural sales jumped 7.2% for the quarter, and DuPont would be wise to continue investing more into this division in the future.
Finally, Travelers (NYSE: TRV ) managed to report above-average results today after net income jumped 85% for the quarter, with price increases helping to boost that number. However, shares have fallen to the bottom of the Dow, currently down 3.8%. What's the culprit? Blame the company's conference call, during which Travelers leadership said those price increases have led to reduced volume. The company won't be able to keep up this success if that's the case, and with a potentially active hurricane season upon the Atlantic, Travelers' next quarter may not be as stellar as this past one.
UTC and Travelers both beat the Street's projections in the second quarter, but are they good enough for your portfolio? The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for this year. Find out which stock it is in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.