Textron Inc.'s first-quarter profit soared on strength from the aircraft maker's Bell helicopter segment and improved sales of Cessna aircraft.
Results easily topped expectations.
"The demand environment for our commercial aircraft and industrial products continued to improve, which reinforces our confidence in our outlook for the year," said Chief Executive Scott C. Donnelly.
The maker of Cessna airplanes and E-Z-GO golf carts has seen its revenue grow over the past year, suggesting its restructuring efforts are paying off. The company has seen a rebound in demand for Bell helicopters, as well as industrial gear, boosting its bottom line. Fitch Ratings in February upgraded the company a notch to investment grade territory on its declining leverage and material improvements in its finance unit.
Textron has also been looking to Asia as it seeks new markets. Cessna Aircraft Co., a unit of the company, agreed last month to establish a joint venture with the China's state-owned Aviation Industry Corp. to build midsize business jets and co-develop a larger jet for the Chinese market.
Textron reported a profit of $118 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with $29 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations rose to 41 cents a share from 10 cents.
Revenue rose 15% to $2.8 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 35 cents a share on revenue of $2.7 billion.
Bell helicopter revenue increased 32% and the segment's profit rose 60%. Cessna revenue climbed 20% as the segment narrowed its loss. Industrial revenue grew 7.4%, while Textron systems revenue was down 15%.
Shares of the company, which affirmed its guidance for the year, closed Tuesday at $27.65 and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 50% so far this year.
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