Strong growth at the Otis and Carrier units helped offset continued weakness in commercial aviation. Otis, which makes elevators and escalators, saw revenues climb 19% to $2.21 billion. Sales at Carrier -- known for its HVAC systems -- gained 10% to $2.2 billion, while revenues at aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney fell 4% to $1.97 billion.
United Technologies (UTC) finished 2003 by growing full-year revenues 10% to $31 billion. In addition, earnings jumped 6% to $4.69, ahead of the company's own forecast of $4.65 per share. The company also reiterated last month's forecast for 2004, saying that it still expects earnings in the range of $5 to $5.30 per share. At that time, UTC also said that it expected 2004 revenues near $33 billion.
Strong operational performance and the once-cheap shares have fueled an almost 80% climb off a March 11 low of $53.51. While still a great company, at near $95 today, those shares are much more fairly priced today at around 18 times 2004 earnings.