Cessna Still Shining Star of Textron

 - October 18, 2007, 12:28 PM

Asked why Textron’s third-quarter revenues are up 15 percent, to $3.3 billion, and profits have skyrocketed 36 percent, to $423 million, company president and CEO Lewis Campbell said during an investor call this morning, “Aircraft deliveries by Cessna, and to a lesser extent Bell Helicopter.” Third-quarter deliveries at Bell came in at 40 helicopters, and Textron expects the division to ship a total of 175 this year. But that pales in comparison with the 103 Citations Cessna delivered in the third quarter and the estimated 380 business jets it will deliver for all of this year. Campbell expects Cessna to deliver 470 Citations next year. And thanks to more than $1 billion in orders for 178 aircraft taken at the NBAA Convention last month, Cessna’s backlog has ballooned to $11.9 billion, with Citation production entirely sold out for next year. Campbell said demand is so strong for Cessna’s Mustang very light jet and Caravan turboprop single that annual production rates will be boosted to 150 and 120 aircraft, respectively.