updated 4/19/2006 9:33:14 AM ET 2006-04-19T13:33:14

United Technologies Corp., maker of Sikorsky helicopters and Otis elevators, said Wednesday first-quarter earnings rose 18 percent — beating Wall Street forecasts — as strong military demand lifted revenue 13 percent.

That prompted the company, which also makes Pratt & Whitney engines, Carrier air conditioners and Hamilton Sundstrand aviation controls, to raise its full-year earnings outlook.

In the latest quarter, net income rose to $768 million, or 76 cents a share, from $651 million, or 64 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts on average expected earnings of 73 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

Pratt & Whitney operating income jumped 26 percent to pace the earnings increase.

Revenue rose to $10.62 billion from $9.41 billion in the first quarter of last year, beating Wall Street's forecast of $10.38 billion. Sales fell 15 percent at Sikorsky, hurt by a five-week strike. All other units delivered revenue gains.

Looking ahead, Hartford-based United Technologies now expects 2006 earnings between $3.50 and $3.60 a share on revenue of about $46 billion, up from previous guidance of $3.40 to $3.55 a share.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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