Esterline Technologies Corp. (NYSE:ESL), a manufacturing company serving aerospace and defense customers, reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings helped by strong growth in its commercial aerospace business, particularly from its Engineered Materials platform.
Earnings for the first quarter were $22.79 million or $0.73 per share, down from $29.99 million or $0.97 per share last year. The latest quarter results included about $0.25 per share of acquisition-related accounting charges to recognize the fair value of the Souriau acquired inventory as expense.
Sales grew to $470.88 million from $370.8 million. Analysts had expected profit of $0.46 per share on revenue of $476.73 million.
Sales from Avionics & Controls declined to $179.57 million from $192.47 million, while Sensors & Systems sales grew to $171.67 million from $77.06 million. Advanced Materials sales increased to $119.64 million from $101.28 million.
As Esterline's December guidance to investors anticipated, gross margins in the first quarter were impacted by acquisition-related accounting and declined to 33.6% from 35.6%. Excluding acquisition-related accounting, gross margin improved to 36.3%.
Looking ahead into the full year 2012, the company increased its earnings guidance by $0.10 to a range of $5.10 to $5.40 per share, while Street predicts $5.14 per share.
ESL closed Thursday's regular session down 1.22% at $64.16.