The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out another win today, even as the two other major indexes closed lower, as earnings season continued to march on with a mixed bag today. With some help from United Technologies' strong report, the blue chips pushed up 22 points, or 0.14%. Shares of the parent of Otis elevators gained 3% as a jump in aerospace orders and cost-cutting helped the company beat earnings estimates. EPS improved from $1.62 to $1.70, while the experts had called for just $1.57. The company's acquisition of Goodrich last year helped drive a 16% increase in revenue to $16 billion, but that was short of the consensus at $16.37 billion. United also raised the low end of its full-year guidance up to $6.00 from $5.85, keeping the high end at $6.15.
On the other end, Travelers flopped in its earnings report, finishing the day down 3.8% after saying it will cut jobs and lower auto insurance prices. Despite that news, earnings per share of $2.13 was well ahead of estimates at $1.60 as the insurer saw fewer catastrophic losses. Still, the company had a 7% decline in personal auto insurance premiums, prompting the decision to lower prices. Shares of fellow insurers also dropped on that news as it may lead to lower industrywide margins and a potential price war.
Also reporting earnings today was AT&T , which shed 0.5% after hours once its report came out. Profits slipped 2.1% despite an increase in revenue as smartphone subsidy costs rose. Still, adjusted per-share earnings rose inched up from $0.66 to $0.67, thanks to share buybacks, but missed estimates by a penny. AT&T's wireless division added contracts for 551,000 devices, but most of the additions were for less-lucrative tablets. Revenue improved 1.6% to $32.1 billion, topping estimates of $31.8 million.
Finally, Cisco Systems shares finished down 0.6% after the networking specialist announced yet another acquisition, saying it would buy Sourcefire, which provides network security services, for $2.7 billion. The deal will provide additional revenue for Cisco, but won't necessarily lead to integration between the systems, according to analysts. Sourcefire finished up 28%, in line with the premium Cisco offered.
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