Cessna, Bell Helicopter Earnings Up In 4Q/10

 - January 27, 2011, 9:13 AM

Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter emerged from 2010 with healthy fourth-quarter revenues and aircraft delivery increases, according to the fourth-quarter earnings report released yesterday by parent company Textron. “An improving commercial outlook, combined with accelerating investments in new-product development, should support top-line growth across our manufacturing businesses,” said Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. Cessna revenues increased $105 million over the fourth quarter of 2009, and delivery of 79 business jets in the fourth quarter of last year topped fourth-quarter 2009 shipments by 11 aircraft. For the year, Cessna delivered 179 Citations. Cessna’s backlog at the end of last year was valued at $2.9 billion, down $495 million from the end of the third quarter. The number of “white tail” aircraft dropped considerably, from 65 at the end of September to 10 at the end of December. This, Donnelly explained, was because Cessna was “building to a forecast,” rather than to a backlog as it has done previously. Cessna will produce aircraft to a forecast again this year, with deliveries expected to be “up slightly” over 2010. At Bell Helicopter, fourth-quarter revenues increased by $173 million versus the year-ago period. Bell’s backlog at the end of last year was $7.2 billion, up $661 million from the end of the third quarter. Donnelly described Bell as “more stable” than Cessna in 2010.