Textron 3Q profit rises 6 pct on helicopter demand

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Textron Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income rose 6 percent on higher demand for Bell helicopters and a strong performance from its industrial unit.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations, and the company's shares fell $2.53, or 9.6 percent, to $23.93 after the markets opened for trading.

The Providence, R.I.-based company reported net income of $151 million, or 51 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 29. That was up from $142 million, or 47 cents per share, in the 2011 third quarter.

Excluding income from discontinued operations, Textron earned 48 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, expected adjusted earnings of 51 cents per share, according to data provider FactSet.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $3 billion, falling just shy of analysts' estimates of $3.06 billion.

Textron said revenue from its Bell helicopter unit shot up 20 percent in the quarter to $1 billion, as the company delivered 46 choppers compared with 26 last year. Industrial revenue rose 4 percent to $683 million.

The increases were partially offset by 13 percent decline revenue in Textron Systems, to $400 million. The company attributed the drop to lower sales volumes in the unit, which sells unmanned aerial systems and armored security vehicles.

Cessna revenue rose 1 percent to $778 million, on higher sales of used aircraft. But new corporate jet sales fell to 41 planes during the quarter, from 47 a year ago.

Textron also raised its earnings outlook for the year and said it contributed $16 million to its pension plans during the quarter

Based on the third-quarter performance and expectations for the fourth quarter, the company said it now expects full-year earnings per share from continuing operations to fall between $1.95 and $2.05 per share, up from previous guidance of $1.80 to $2. Analysts, on average, expect earnings of $2.08 per share, with estimates ranging from $1.91 to $2.20 per share.