October 17, 2012 / 10:47 AM / in 8 years

Textron third-quarter profit shy of Wall Street expectations

(Reuters) - Diversified U.S. manufacturer Textron Inc (TXT.N) reported a weaker-than-expected 6.3 percent rise in profit on weak demand for corporate jets and declines in sales to the military.

The world’s largest maker of corporate jets raised its full-year earnings per share target, but the revised range of $1.95 to $2.05 was below analysts’ expectation of $2.10, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Its previous forecast ranged from $1.80 to $2.

The maker of Bell helicopters said on Wednesday that third-quarter net profit came to $151 million, or 51 cents per share, compared with $142 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

Factoring out income from discontinued operations, profit was 48 cents per share, below the average analyst view of 51 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Providence, Rhode Island-based company, which also makes EZ-Go golf carts and industrial components, said revenue rose 6.6 percent to $3 billion from $2.8 billion a year earlier.

Under Chief Executive Scott Donnelly, the company has been working to boost profit margins by improving manufacturing efficiencies and trimming back its finance arm.

But margins declined at Cessna, Bell and its military equipment units in the quarter. They remained flat at its industrial arm and rose at the finance unit.

As of Tuesday’s close, Textron shares are up about 42 percent over the past year, more than double the 18 percent gain of the broad Standard & Poor’s 500 index .SPX.

Textron’s rivals include General Dynamics Corp’s (GD.N) Gulfstream unit, Canada’s Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) and Brazil’s Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA) in corporate jets, and United Technologies Corp’s (UTX.N) Sikorsky unit in helicopters.

The company kicks off a wave of earnings reports from big manufacturers, with General Electric Co (GE.N), Honeywell International Inc (HON.N) and Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) all due in the coming days.

Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Jeffrey Benkoe

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