Think back with me, dear Fool, to April, when United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) CEO Louis Chenevert promised us "superior performance" in fiscal 2008. Or farther back still, to the heady days of January, when then-CEO George David argued that despite a "mixed" outlook for the U.S. economy, "UTC's balance across geographic ... markets should sustain yet another year of double-digit earnings-per-share growth" in fiscal '08.

A camp divided
At the time, UTC's words echoed the happy talk emanating from rival GE (NYSE:GE). But GE, as we know, has since fallen upon hard times, even as peer industrialists such as Honeywell (NYSE:HON), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), and 3M (NYSE:MMM) seem to be weathering the downturn quite nicely.

Happy campers?
As of yesterday, it looks like UTC will avoid GE's fate, and hang out instead with the happier campers named above. Reiterating its July guidance, UTC told investors to expect $4.80 to $4.95 per share in profits this year, on revenue exceeding $60 billion. Even better, free cash flow could equal or surpass net income -- so we're probably looking at more than $4.7 billion in FCF. That works out to about 10% revenue growth year over year, 14% better profits, and about 12% or so in free cash flow growth.

Cons ...
On the flip side, UTC's latest, greatest guidance probably won't wow many of the pros up on Wall Street. Analysts were already expecting UTC to post $4.94 per share in profits this year, on revenue of $60.1 billion. Basically, they're assuming the company will exceed its revenue guidance and max out its earnings projections.

... and pros
Even so, the stock gained more than 1% on Wednesday -- though it fell more than 3% on Thursday, along with the market in general -- thanks in part to a bullish prognosis from one such pro: UBS. According to the Swiss banker, UTC's decline from its October highs offers investors "a rare opportunity in a high quality name with a proven track record of performance in prior periods of economic weakness." UBS notes that UTC gets 75% of its most profitable revenue from end-markets that should continue growing in 2009-2010.

Housing may be down, you see. Homebuilders like Lennar and Centex (NYSE:CTX) may be in the dumps. But UTC's involvement in HVAC and elevators notwithstanding, its other businesses (such as the one that won a $78 million military contract to provide parts for Lockheed's (NYSE:LMT) Joint Strike Fighter Wednesday) are helping management deliver on its promises.

And making shareholders, well, "happy."

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