United Technologies Beats Q2 Targets; Sikorsky Helicopter Contract Helps

The Sikorsky CH-148 helicopter, airborne at a 2011 Paris airshow. Source: Sikorsky.

Shares of United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) were trading slightly higher in pre-market action this morning, following the release of second-quarter results.

Sales increased 7% year-over-year to $17.2 billion. This includes 3% organic growth and a 5% gain on  subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft's amended contract to supply the Canadian government with CH148 Cyclone helicopters. These growth drivers were offset by recently divested business units.

GAAP earnings rose 8% to $1.84 per share. The Canadian contract amendment lifted Sikorsky's sales but also caused a $438 million non-cash charge against the division's operating profits.

Analysts were looking for earnings near $1.71 per share on $16.8 billion in total sales. The Canadian Cyclone contract helped United Technologies exceed both of these Street targets, alongside a tax-efficient restructuring program.

Based on organic growth and bulging order backlogs, United Technologies raised the bottom end of its full-year earnings guidance by 1.5%, tightening the guidance range to the top half of existing projections. Analyst projections currently hover near the midpoint of the old guidance range and the bottom end of updated management numbers.

"Our focus on growth opportunities and execution in our core markets resulted in another solid quarter," said United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert in a prepared statement. "We saw a fourth consecutive quarter of organic sales growth, along with strong margin expansion."

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