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UTX: Few Signs of a Global Slowdown

Posted by: Ben Steverman on July 17, 2008

United Technologies (UTX) shares jumped 5.9% Thursday after a solid earnings report.

For weeks, many investors have been worried that a slowdown in overseas economies could hurt big U.S. exporters. (See “A World of Woe for Big U.S. Exporters?”)

United Technologies’ results eased those fears a bit. Executives acknowledged the impact of a slowdown in the U.S. and some other parts of the world, but seemed surprisingly upbeat about the firm’s overall prospects worldwide.

Greg Hayes, UTC’s vice president of accounting and finance, told analysts that parts of Europe were surprisingly strong, especially France, Germany and Eastern Europe. Asia was “very, very strong,” Hayes said. “We’re being very successful in those markets that are expanding, especially in the emerging markets,” Hayes added.

Eventually high oil prices, rising world interest rates and other factors could appreciably slow down global growth. Even so, it’s an open question whether this would significantly slow down the worldwide infrastructure boom, which United Technologies is helping to serve through its Otis elevator and Carrier air conditioning divisions.

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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