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Textron 2Q Net Rises 9.8% As Cessna Profit Surges

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Textron Inc.'s (TXT) second-quarter earnings rose 9.8% as the company's Cessna aircraft segment posted a sharp rise in profit on higher volumes and as results at the much-larger Bell helicopter segment were also strong. "The demand environment for commercial aircraft remained stable," said Chairman and Chief Executive Scott C. Donnelly. "Given current levels of customer interest and order activity, we expect a significant pick-up in demand in the second half of the year, similar to what we saw last year." The company also backed its full-year forecast from January. The manufacturer of Cessna aircraft and E-Z-GO golf carts showed signs of a turnaround for much of last year, suggesting its restructuring efforts are paying off. The company has seen recent recovery in demand for Bell helicopters and its industrial gear, which has also helped its bottom line. Textron reported a profit of $90 million, or 29 cents a share, up from $82 million, or 27 cents, a year earlier. Revenue edged up 0.7% to $2.73 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 24 cents on revenue of $2.83 billion. The company's Bell helicopter business, its biggest top-line contributor, saw revenue up 6% and profit climb 11%. Cessna's revenue increased 2.7% while the division's profit grew 67%, driven by higher delivery and aftermarket volumes. Shares closed at $22.12 and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 22% over the past year. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283;

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