(By Balachander) Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) posted a profit for the fourth quarter helped by strong demand at Bell and increased deliveries at Textron Systems amid weakness at its business jet markets. The aviation company also issued its forecast for 2013.
Earnings from continuing operations were $146 million or $0.50 per share for the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $17 million or $0.06 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Fourth-quarter results include an after-tax charge of 6 cents per share at Cessna related to an unfavorable business arbitration award. Prior year period included net charges of 55 cents per share.
Wall Street analysts', on average, expected earnings of 56 cents a share.
Revenue rose 3.4 percent to $3.36 billion, versus Wall Street projections of a growth of 5.2 percent.
"Growth in the fourth quarter was the result of strong military and commercial demand at Bell and increased deliveries at Textron Systems, E-Z-GO and Jacobsen, partially offset by weakness in our automotive and business jet markets," commented Textron CEO Scott Donnelly.
Revenue at the company's Cessna segment fell 11 percent, while Bell segment revenue increased 14 percent. Textron Systems segment revenue rose 11 percent, while Industrial segments revenue was almost flat.
At Cessna, new Citation jet deliveries fell to 53 from 67 units in the year-ago quarter.
Looking ahead for the full year, the company expects earnings per share from continuing operations in the range of $2.10 to $2.30 on revenue of roughly $12.9 billion, while analysts' expect $2.24 per share.
Textron said it expects growth in 2013 revenue at Cessna on a modest increase in jet deliveries, a higher revenue mix of business jets and growth in aftermarket, modest growth at Bell, led by an increase in commercial helicopter sales, growth at Systems and revenue up slightly at Industrial.
TXT shares, which have been trading between $21.33 and $29.18 over the past 52 weeks, closed Tuesday's regular trading at $27.08.