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Textron Swings To 4Q Profit, Tops Views; 2011 Revenue View Upbeat

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Textron Inc. (TXT) swung to a fourth-quarter profit and adjusted results topped analysts' expectations as revenue rose across its manufacturing businesses, including the erstwhile struggling Cessna airplane operation. Looking ahead, Textron forecast current-year per-share earnings of $1 to $1.15 on $11.7 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting $1.26 and $11.2 billion, respectively. The maker of small aircraft showed continuing signs of a turnaround, suggesting its restructuring efforts and a rebound in demand are paying off. It had struggled earlier as its plane unit dragged on results. "We're particularly encouraged by the pick-up in business jet and commercial helicopter demand, driven in part by the impact of bonus depreciation in the United States, but also reflecting relative stability in global economies and improving general business confidence," Chairman and Chief Executive Scott Donnelly said Wednesday. Textron posted a profit of $60 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a prior-year loss of $63 million, or 23 cents a share. Excluding items such as restructuring and a prior-year writedown, earnings from continuing operations jumped to 33 cents from 15 cents. Revenue climbed 11% to $3.13 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast a profit of 25 cents on $2.84 billion in revenue. The Bell helicopter business, which has overtaken the Cessna segment as the largest top-line contributor in recent quarters, did so again in the latest period as revenue rose 22% and profit jumped 64%. Cessna's revenue increased 12% but profit dropped 18% following a prior-year asset-sale gain. Shares closed Tuesday at $27.07 and were inactive in recent premarket trading. Through the latest close, the stock is up 32% over the past year. -By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240; matthew.jarzemsky@dowjones.com

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