United Technologies Earnings Call Insights: PW4000 Engines and Contract Closeouts

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

PW4000 Engines

Ronald Epstein – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Quick question on PW4000 (I guess) were down I guess organically a bunch in the quarter. Why would they come back? Aren’t the 6, 7s getting part? What do you expect to see there to have that actually come back?

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Gregory J. Hayes – SVP and CFO: We knew you were going to ask that question Ron. Yeah, look it’s a complicated story, so let me try and take you through some of the pieces as we see it today. Right now there is about 2,500 PW4000 engines in service and over the last five years that’s come down in total about 3%. And we expected that’s going to continue to come down 1% or 2% a year for the next five years, so you’re naturally going to see some attrition in the portfolio. But at the same time, the average age of these engines is only 14 years. We fully expect these things to have a normal lifecycle of 25 to 30 years, so at some point they will come back. There is some excess material out there of engines, obviously, from some of the retirements, but just not significant enough, so they will come back for LLCs. We will start to see a more normal run rate here as we go throughout the year, so pretty confident. The other thing just to put it in perspective, so there’s 2,500 4000s out there. Today there are 5,000 V2500s out there. We are going to sell another 3,000 engines over the next five years or so. So the Vs are really going to be the story going forward and we saw that in the quarter. If you dissect that 28% down, what you see is that the 4000s were down about just under 40%. I think they were down about 39%, but the Vs on the other hand were up about 34% on the legacy piece. So again, I think, we’ve made this bet on narrow-body. It’s going to pay-off and again I think it’s all manageable in terms of what we are seeing on the 4000s over the course of the year.

Ronald Epstein – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: And then maybe if I can just a follow-on to that same question. So are you seeing I mean relatively young, engines with not that many hours on them, relatively speaking, coming off airplanes that are getting retired, competing with your own spares, maybe that’s kind of part of the issue?

Gregory J. Hayes – SVP and CFO: Not really. In fact we are seeing – again, these engines have been out there. I think there are some engines that are 25 years old in the PW4. In fact more than that, probably some will be almost 30 years old, some of the early 4000s. So, some of the older engines are coming off which is providing serviceable material. We also see the airlines continuing to try and take spare engines and use them and not induct them into the overhaul shaft, so inductions actually on the 4000 are lighter than what we had expected just because the airlines are trying to do what they can to conserve cash. So, again, oil prices at $90 a barrel, I think airline traffic is still very high, capacity is very high. We really think that we are going to see kind of a return to normal on the 4000s. So there’s just not enough engines out there in the fleet that have been retired to provide enough spares to support the fleet that’s out there.

Contract Closeouts

Sam Pearlstein – Wells Fargo: First thing is can you just quantify the partnership settlement and contract closeouts in Pratt and how much that helped?

Gregory J. Hayes – SVP and CFO: Yeah. So last year, there was again some contract closeouts that gave us a benefit of about $0.02. This year, we’ve got contract closeouts and a couple of other things, which benefited us between $0.04 and $0.05, let’s say, so kind of a net $0.03 year-over-year benefit at Pratt.

Sam Pearlstein – Wells Fargo: Then just talk about lower E&D at Pratt and also UT Aerospace Systems. E&D is coming down, and so I am trying to just understand how come R&D is up year-over-year from 544 to 610? Where is that additional spending going?

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Jay Malave – Director, IR: Ron, that’s just a function of Goodrich. I mean, sorry, Sam, that’s just a function of the Goodrich acquisition year-over-year, just consolidating the results versus last year, they weren’t in the results in the first quarter.

Gregory J. Hayes – SVP and CFO: There was about $100 million of that. So Pratt did come down I think $34 million. They’re well on track to come down to $75 million to $100 million. The CSeries as we said, that’s certified. The neo is going to flight test here shortly. So, you will see a real ramp down in E&D at Pratt as we move through the year.

A Closed Look: United Technologies Earnings Cheat Sheet>>