Sikorsky shows improvement in fourth quarter

A Sikorsky S-76 D in flight. The company's new commercial helicopter is expected to help lift sales

Sales increased three percent and Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft delivered 18 more aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago.

The helicopter maker’s parent company, United Technologies said during a conference call with analysts that Sikorsky had sales of $2.17 billion in the quarter, but operating profit was down 20 percent from a year ago, partly due to restructuring costs. UTC said Sikorsky’s net sales for the year were $6.7 billion, down from $7.3 billion.

Sikorsky delivered 77 military helicopters in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to 66 a year ago and its commercial segment delivered 14 aircraft, up two from the fourth quarter of 2011. Total deliveries were down for the year, as the previous three quarters didn’t keep pace with 2011.

UTC as a whole, which includes Otis Elevator, Pratt & Whitney, UTC Climate Controls nee Carrier, and UTC Aerospace nee Hamilton, said net income attributable to common shareowners of $4.8 billion, and earnings per share of $5.35 and both essentially flat versus prior year.

But profit at Hartford-based UTC was up 55 percent, aided by sales of legacy Hamilton industrial businesses, which were not seen as a good fit for the UTC Aerospace division, which includes Goodrich.

Shares of UTC were up 56 cents to $88.03 in morning trading and set a new 52-week high.

Rob Varnon