Textron Flies Higher After Topping Estimates

Carried by soaring sales at its Cessna division, Textron (NYSE:TXT) revealed on Wednesday a 9.8% rise in second-quarter profits that exceeded Wall Streets expectations.

The Providence, R.I.-based manufacturer, which also makes Bell helicopters, said it earned $90 million, or 29 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $82 million, or 27 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for EPS of 24 cents.

On the other hand, Textron said its sales inched 0.7% higher to $2.73 billion, failing to meet the Streets view of $2.83 billion.

Second-quarter results benefited from good execution and cost performance at Bell and Industrial, CEO Scott Donnelly said in a statement. Cessna returned to an operating profit, driven primarily by higher delivery and aftermarket volumes compared to the first quarter.

Textrons Cessna division boosted its revenue by $17 million and delivered 38 new Citation jets last quarter, down from 43 in the same period a year ago. Still, it posted a $2 million profit and had a backlog of $2.5 billion.

Bell, which manufactures helicopters, increased its sales by $49 million and delivered a slew of new aircraft, including 9 V-22s and 8 H-1s.

Looking ahead, Textron reaffirmed its 2011 EPS view of $1.00 to $1.15, compared with consensus calls on Wall Street for $1.11.

Encouraged by the results and outlook, shareholders bid Textron 7.17% higher to $23.70 Wednesday morning, cutting its 2011 loss to 6.4%. Textrons stock has rallied 22.3% over the past 52 weeks.