July 24, 2018 / 12:00 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-United Tech raises 2018 profit forecast spurred by aircraft parts demand

(Adds details on results, background; updates share price)

July 24 (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast for the second time on Tuesday, as the company benefits from higher demand for spare parts and services from airlines.

Shares of the industrial conglomerate rose 1.7 percent at $131.6 in premarket trading.

Air travel is picking up in backdrop of global economic growth, driving up sales of aircraft parts for companies such as United Tech and its rivals Honeywell International Inc and General Electric.

United Tech said sales of spare parts and services to airlines rose 12 percent in the second quarter at both its Pratt & Whitney engines unit and UTC Aerospace Systems, which makes products including aircraft landing gear, wheels and brakes.

The company, which also makes Otis elevators and Carrier air conditioners, now expects 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $7.10-$7.25, up from prior forecast of $6.95-$7.15.

The company has been under pressure from its investors, including hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb's firm Third Point LLC and William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management, to split its businesses.

Third Point has argued that the split into three units - aerospace, Otis elevators, and climate, controls and security - could unlock $20 billion in value for the shareholders.

United Tech has said it will defer the discussion on company's review of its portfolio until after the Rockwell Collins deal closes by the third quarter of 2018.

Excluding the gain on sale of food service equipment company Taylor Co and restructuring charges, the company earned $1.97 per share in the quarter ended June 30, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.85 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose 9.3 percent to $16.71 billion, above the $16.27 billion expected by analysts. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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