Mirroring the slow but gradual broader economic recovery, two bellwether industrial conglomerates – DuPont (DD) and United Technologies (UTX) reported improved earnings Tuesday despite lingering economic headwinds.
Shares of both companies fell Tuesday despite broader gains in U.S. stock markets.
DuPont said its second-quarter earnings rose 3.9%, though operating earnings fell amid reduced demand for its chemicals and agricultural products.
DuPont reported a profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.15 a share, up from $1.03 billion, or $1.11 a share, during the same period a year ago. Revenues fell 1.4% from $9.8 billion to $9.71 billion.
The company said operating earnings per share of $1.17 were down “moderately” from $1.28 per share last year, but in-line with the company's expectations announced last month.
Analysts had forecast per-share earnings of $1.17 and revenue of $9.79 billion.
DuPont’s shares were down 24 cents at $65.31 in midday trading.
“While lower agriculture earnings impacted our results this quarter, we continue to see strong science-driven growth in this segment over the long term,” DuPont Chief Executive Ellen Kullman said in a statement.
In June, the Wilmington, Del., company slashed its earnings guidance for the year, citing weaker-than-expected performance in its agriculture business in the second quarter. On Tuesday, the agricultural business reported sales $3.62 billion, about even with the year earlier period, and operational earnings of $836 million, an 11% decline from the year ago quarter.
The company reiterated its full-year outlook for operating earnings of $4.00 to $4.10 a share, and announced a 4% increase for its quarterly dividend to 47 cents a share.
United Technologies said its second-quarter earnings rose 7.7% on higher revenues in its aerospace systems and elevator businesses.
The company raised the lower end of its earnings guidance range for the year by 10 cents a share, citing strong results in the first half of the year. It now expects earnings of $6.75 to $6.85 a share.
“Our focus on growth opportunities and execution in our core markets resulted in another solid quarter,” CEO Louis Chenevert said in a statement. "We saw a fourth consecutive quarter of organic sales growth, along with strong margin expansion."
United Technologies reported a profit of $1.68 billion, up from $1.56 billion a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations were $1.84 a share, up from $1.70. Revenue rose 7.4% to $17.19 billion.
Analysts had forecast a per-share profit of $1.71 and revenue of $16.84 billion.
United Technologies last year said it was merging its Otis elevators segment with its Carrier air-conditioning business, which will become part of the company's building-products division in an effort to more easily tap into emerging markets such as China.
The company said Otis new equipment orders increased 3% over the year ago second quarter, led by 44% growth in North America. Equipment orders at UTC Climate, Controls & Security increased 2% organically. But large commercial engine spares orders were down 6% at Pratt & Whitney and commercial spares orders increased 28 percent at UTC Aerospace Systems.
The company reported cash flow from operations of $1.7 billion and capital expenditures of $406 million in the quarter. Share repurchases came to $335 million.
The company’s shares were down $2.10, or 1.86%, at $110.88.