Tech stocks have been ultra-volatile over the past several months. But while Dow component United Technologies
United Technologies reported solid fourth-quarter results this morning, with revenues climbing 14.5% from the year-ago quarter to $9.8 billion. Meanwhile, earnings increased 10.5% to $650 million, or $1.29 per share, beating the analyst estimate by $0.02.
Earnings growth was driven by growth in the company's elevator and air conditioning businesses. The Otis elevator segment's operating income rose 8.7% to $410 million, representing 38% of the company's overall operating profit. The Carrier air conditioning business grew operating income by 36.5%, to $127 million. Operating profit was roughly flat at the Chubb security business, the Pratt & Whitney aircraft engine business, and the Sikorsky helicopter business, while the Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace business posted a modest decline in profit.
For the year, net income jumped 18% to $2.8 billion, or $5.52 per share. At the same time, United Technologies generated $2.9 billion in free cash flow, $1 billion of which was spent on share repurchases.
In all, it was a blue-chip quarter and a blue-chip year for the October 2001 Motley Fool Select (now Motley Fool Hidden Gems) pick. United Technologies expects similar results in 2005, when the company will begin including stock-options expense in its results. Accounting for that expense, the company expects earnings to grow 10% to 15%, to $5.85 to $6.10 per share.
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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.