Diversified U.S. manufacturer Textron Inc posted profit that blew past Wall Street's expectations and sharply raised its 2010 earnings forecast, citing the payoff of an aggressive cost-cutting plan.
The world's largest maker of corporate jets said on Wednesday that it expects a full-year profit, excluding special charges, of 55 cents to 65 cents per share, higher than its previous forecast of 30 cents to 50 cents.
The high end of its forecast would return Textron to growth ahead of schedule. Chief Executive Scott Donnelly had previously said the company would resume profit growth in 2011. On average, analysts had looked for full-year profit of 50 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Our sustained focus on operating productivity and ongoing investments in our businesses should position us well for this cycle, said Donnelly, a former General Electric Co executive who became Textron's CEO on December 1.
Its second quarter earnings came to $82 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $58 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 3.7 percent to $2.71 billion percent as demand for business aircraft remained weak.
Analysts, on average, looked for profit of 9 cents per share, on $2.49 billion in revenue.
The Providence, Rhode Island-based company, which also makes Bell helicopters and EZ-Go golf carts, is coping with weak demand for many of its products, but has boosted earnings by cutting jobs and scaling back its finance arm.
Textron shares have fallen about 7 percent so far this year, a time period when the Standard & Poor's capital goods industry group <.GSPIC> has risen almost 1 percent.
Under Donnelly's leadership, the company has pulled sharply back on its financing operations, trimming that unit to focus on financing sales of equipment made by Textron businesses.
Its rivals include the Gulfstream unit of General Dynamics Corp and Canada's Bombardier Inc in corporate jets, and United Technologies Corp in helicopters.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Derek Caney)