United Technologies Profit Beats Estimates on Bigger Tax Benefit

United Technologies Corp. (UTX) said first-quarter profit exceeded analysts’ estimates as earnings at its climate, controls and security unit increased and the company received a larger tax settlement than it predicted from the U.S. government.

Earnings from continuing operations rose to $1.18 billion, or $1.31 a share, from $967 million, or $1.06, a year earlier, the Hartford, Connecticut-based company said in a statement today. That exceeded the $1.20 average of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The tax benefit and other one-time items added 30 cents a share to profit.

Chief Executive Officer Louis Chenevert is remaking United Technologies by jettisoning units that make rocket engines, wind turbines and air compressors and reorganizing the climate controls and security unit before completing a $16.5 billion acquisition of Goodrich Corp. (GR) this year. Climate, controls and security profit climbed 15 percent to $544 million, while earnings at Hamilton Sundstrand rose to $198 million.

“The room for an operational surprise comes from better- than-expected performance out of the climate and controls business,” Peter Arment, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. in New York, said in a telephone interview before the announcement. “Because of the tax gain, the bottom-line number, in terms of earnings per share, isn’t a clean number.”

Revenue fell 2 percent to $12.4 billion in the quarter, missing analysts’ estimates of $12.8 billion.

A settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service resulted in a $203 million gain in the quarter, United Technologies said.

United Technologies affirmed a forecast made last month for 2012 profit of $5.30 to $5.50 a share and revenue of $61 billion to $62 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Catts in New York at tcatts1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net.

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