United Technologies' Stock Should Be Bought Now, Sterne Agee Analyst Says

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

United Technologies' stock should be bought at current levels, said Sterne Agee analyst Peter Arment on Monday, who said the company's sale of its Sikorsky Aircraft business after 86 years of ownership represents a "positive first step" in the transformation of its business portfolio. Arment said while Sikorsky generated about 10% of United Technologies' (UTX) sales, it only accounted for 6.5% of its profits. He said the sale removes a significant portion of the headline risk from the government's defense budget, and allows the company to return a large amount of cash to shareholders without reducing balance sheet flexibility to pursue other acquisitions. Earlier Monday, UTX agreed to sell Sikorsky to Lockheed Martin for $9 billion. The stock, which rose 1.4% in premarket trade, has lost 5% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 0.3%.

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