United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Strength in commercial and military aftermarket businesses and impressive contribution from its acquired Rockwell Collins business sales will likely boost United Technologies' near-term revenues. Also, improved top line and cost-cutting measures are expected to enhance profitability, going forward. Backed by these positives, the company has given bullish full-year 2019 revenue guidance. The company intends to become more competent on the back of meaningful business acquisitions. Notably, the Rockwell Collins buyout is likely to boost sales in 2019. However, over the past six months, shares of the company have underperformed its industry. Rising costs of sales remain a concern for the company's gross margin. We believe, if unchecked, higher costs and operating expenses will prove detrimental to United Technologies' margins and profitability. Moreover, increases in debt levels can increase its financial obligations.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Barclays dropped their price target on United Technologies from $145.00 to $140.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 11th. Citigroup reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $120.00 price target (down previously from $125.00) on shares of United Technologies in a research report on Thursday, January 3rd. Jefferies Financial Group set a $148.00 price target on United Technologies and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 27th. Goldman Sachs Group raised United Technologies from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating and set a $153.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 1st. Finally, Bank of America set a $180.00 price target on United Technologies and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 27th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $144.00.

UTX stock opened at $126.30 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a current ratio of 1.13. United Technologies has a 1-year low of $100.48 and a 1-year high of $144.15. The firm has a market capitalization of $109.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 1.20.

United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 23rd. The conglomerate reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.53 by $0.42. United Technologies had a return on equity of 17.53% and a net margin of 7.92%. The business had revenue of $18.04 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $16.87 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.60 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 15.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that United Technologies will post 7.93 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, VP Robert J. Bailey sold 862 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.71, for a total transaction of $104,914.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Robert Kelly Ortberg sold 16,587 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.59, for a total value of $2,099,748.33. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 70,211 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,888,010.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 97,770 shares of company stock worth $12,153,044 in the last three months. 0.15% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in United Technologies by 1.9% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 59,240,301 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $8,282,386,000 after acquiring an additional 1,094,947 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc increased its stake in United Technologies by 1.9% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 59,240,301 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $8,282,386,000 after acquiring an additional 1,094,947 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in United Technologies by 13.3% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 54,035,145 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $5,753,662,000 after acquiring an additional 6,347,718 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in United Technologies by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 26,833,527 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $3,751,597,000 after acquiring an additional 372,456 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in United Technologies by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 15,219,419 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $1,620,563,000 after acquiring an additional 61,785 shares during the last quarter. 80.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About United Technologies

United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and services to building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. Its Otis segment designs, manufactures, sells, and installs passenger and freight elevators, escalators, and moving walkways; and offers modernization products to upgrade elevators and escalators, as well as maintenance and repair services.

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