NEW YORK (AP) -- Diversified conglomerate United Technologies Corp. said Thursday it will look for merger or acquisition opportunities this year, even after it cut its profit guidance for 2009.
Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes said United Technologies' announcement Tuesday that it will cut its share repurchase program to $1 billion from $2 billion is "just to keep our powder dry for mergers and acquisitions that we see."
"We're going to be aggressive this year with mergers and acquisitions," he told investor analysts at a meeting in New York. "We see good value out here, good synergy and a lot of targets."
United Technologies, which owns Otis elevator, jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aircraft and other businesses, tried unsuccessfully last year to acquire ATM maker Diebold Inc. of North Canton, Ohio.
The Hartford-based company has spent $15 billion for acquisitions since 2000, with $7 billion of that for its fire and security business of which Diebold would have been a part.
United Technologies on Tuesday cut its 2009 earnings-per-share forecast to between $4 and $4.50, including restructuring charges. In December, the company forecast a profit of $4.65 to $5.15 per share.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect 2009 earnings of $4.49 per share.
It also said it will reduce its global work force by 11,600 jobs, or 5 percent.
Shares added 10 cents to $41.19 in afternoon trading.