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United Technologies Plans Buyback at Up to $5.4 Billion

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- United Technologies Corp. said it plans to buy back as much as $5.4 billion in stock as it resumes share repurchases after a yearlong pause following the acquisition of Goodrich Corp.

The program, which will repurchase as many as 60 million shares, will total about $1 billion in 2013, in line with previous projections, the Hartford, Connecticut-based company said today in a statement. The company has 916.5 million shares outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, so the buyback would be about 6.5 percent of the total.

Suspending share repurchases in 2012 was part of Chief Executive Officer Louis Chenevert’s plan to marshal United Technologies’ cash and protect the company’s credit ratings as it digested the $16.5 billion takeover of Goodrich.

United Technologies fell 0.3 percent to $89.54 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 9.2 percent this year, compared to a 4.9 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

There’s no timetable associated with the program, which replaces a 60 million-share repurchase authorization from 2010, Ian Race, a United Technologies spokesman, said by telephone after the announcement.

Chenevert and Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes have both said in meetings with analysts and investors that they hope to buy back more than $1 billion of shares this year.

“Of course my boss is pushing me to do a lot more, but it’s January, so we’ll see what happens,” Hayes said during a conference call following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings announcement last month.

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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