The building and aerospace industries were hit hard during the Great Recession. However, they have slowly recovered and are projected to grow by leaps and bounds as the economy continues to improve. United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), a global blue-chip industrial company, has reorganized its operations to focus exclusively on these two industries, and as a result, it may be primed to clobber the market.
Commercial construction activity in the U.S. is projected to increase by 17% in 2014. That growth should continue as the economy keeps improving. Furthermore, commercial building growth in developing markets should be tremendous in upcoming years, since modern buildings are still in their infancy in most of these areas.
United Technologies' Otis and Carrier subsidiaries are dominant forces within the building industry, with No. 1 positions within their prospective markets.
Otis designs and sells a wide variety of elevators, escalators, and moving walkways, and Carrier provides an extensive range of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment. These great businesses are complimented by United Technologies' security and fire protection, controls, and engineering & design subsidiaries.
This diverse group of products are essential components of commercial buildings, and as a result, United Technologies is in an excellent position to benefit from the tailwinds mentioned above.
Riding the aerospace updraft
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has projected that air travel within the U.S. will more than double within the next 20 years. Air travel is poised for even greater growth as developing markets build out their infrastructure. As a result, aircraft purchases should accelerate in the upcoming years.
United Technologies is in a great position to ride these tailwinds due to its diverse group of aerospace businesses, which include Pratt & Whitney, a $14 billion provider of jet engines, and Sikorsky, a $6.8 billion provider of helicopters.
United Technologies significantly increased its aerospace exposure by selling some non-core assets and acquiring Goodrich, which added an extensive array of aerospace products, including braking systems, wheels, propellers, composite structures, and cockpit control systems.
Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company, with $85 billion in annual revenues. Its highly anticipated 787 Dreamliner Jet had some initial problems, but is the most technologically advanced and most efficient jet ever designed. Its next generation Boeing 777X, which is scheduled for release in 2020, will be even larger and more efficient than the Dreamliner.
In a similar manner as United Technologies, Honeywell has significant exposure to the building and aerospace industries. Honeywell is more widespread than UTX, with products available for many other industries, including automotive, chemical, and health care.
Honeywell's market leading sensor & control products are utilized in automobiles, airplanes, industrial processes, and buildings. A couple of compelling examples are its Prestige 2.0 Comfort System, which monitors and controls the temperature and humidity all in one device, and its BendixKing subsidiary, which offers a wide variety of flight controls and displays.
All three of these companies have performed well in recent years, but United Technologies is currently more attractively priced. Over the last five years, Boeing's share price has increased by 242%, and Honeywell's has increased by 207%. However, United Technologies' share price has significantly lagged with only a 128% gain over this period.
This is also reflected in United Technologies' P/E of 16, which is much lower than Boeing's P/E of 24 and Honeywell's P/E of 22. In addition, United Technologies' has a dividend yield of 2.1%, which is higher than Honeywell's yield of 2% and Boeing's yield of 1.5%.
United Technologies has more than tripled its dividend over the last decade and with a payout ratio of only 38% and its great growth prospects, similar increases can be expected over the next ten years.
The Foolish Bottom Line
United Technologies is in the right industries at the right time, has a broad spectrum of market-leading brands within these industries, and is attractively priced. As a result, I believe that now is an excellent time to take a closer look at United Technologies.