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Cessna down, Bell up in third quarter

Cessna's revenues decreased $290 million in the third quarter from the same period in the prior year, while Bell's revenues increased $197 million in the third quarter from last year. Bell’s U.S. government revenues increased $172 million due to higher V-22 and H-1 deliveries. Both are Textron companies.

Cessna’s numbers reflected lower new aircraft sales, including the delivery of 26 jets compared with 68 in the corresponding period last year. However, aftermarket volumes were up in the quarter. Segment profit decreased $63 million, primarily due to the lower deliveries and lower deposit forfeiture income as a result of fewer order cancellations in 2010, partially offset by lower expenses. Cessna backlog ended the third quarter at $3.4 billion, down $321 million from the end of the second quarter.

Bell's commercial revenues increased $25 million, due to higher service and support, improved pricing, and favorable mix. Segment profit increased $28 million due to higher overall volume, favorable program adjustments based on operational performance, partially offset by a gain on a currency exchange contract recorded in 2009, higher research and development costs, and higher selling and administrative expenses. Bell backlog decreased $537 million from the end of second quarter to $6.5 billion.

Textron noted Cessna is introducing new products. “While we continue to implement our restructuring and overhead reduction activities, the company is also ramping new product development,” said Textron Chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. “Our new Citation Ten business jet announced earlier this week at the National Business Aviation Association Annual Meeting and Convention is a perfect example of our commitment to accelerate product innovation.”

Textron overall reported a third-quarter loss from continuing operations of $0.17 per share, compared to income of $0.02 per share in last year's third quarter. Excluding special charges, the company reported income from continuing operations of $0.13 per share, compared to $0.12 per share a year ago. Free cash flow generated in the quarter from manufacturing operations was $157 million, bringing year-to-date free cash flow from manufacturing operations to $174 million, compared to $68 million for the first nine months of last year. Revenues were $2.5 billion, down 2.7 percent from last year's third quarter, primarily due to lower business jet deliveries.

“Our third quarter performance reflected the ramp-up in military programs at Bell, strong year-over-year growth in our Industrial segment and continued focus on cost productivity and operational execution across all of our manufacturing businesses,” said Donnelly.

Alton Marsh
Alton K. Marsh
Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.

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