Rockwell Collins 1Q net up 2 pct, lifts year view

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- Aviation and military electronics maker Rockwell Collins Inc. said Friday that net income rose 2 percent in its fiscal first quarter, despite a drop in sales, thanks to controlled costs.

The company also lifted its profit outlook for the year to above analyst expectations because the government extended a business tax credit in its New Year's Day budget deal that averted the "fiscal cliff."

The company, whose products range from inflight entertainment systems for commercial airlines to radar systems and weapons for the military, said last year it planned to cut jobs to deal with defense spending cuts.

"Despite continued government and economic uncertainty, our focus on the things we can control such as costs, capital deployment, and investments are paying off," Chairman and CEO Clay Jones said in a statement Friday.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company earned $132 million, up from $130 million in the same months the year before. Earnings got a bigger boost on a per-share basis, rising to 94 cents from 86 cents, because the company has fewer shares outstanding.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $1.06 billion from $1.09 billion.

The results beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 89 cents per share on $1.04 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

In the commercial systems business, which serves companies such as aircraft makers and airlines, sales rose 1 percent to $516 million, while profit rose 5 percent to $106 million. The company cut research costs.

Sales at its government systems business dropped 6 percent to $546 million and profit shrank 8.5 percent to $107 million as demand at most of its divisions fell.

Rockwell Collins boosted its profit prediction for the full year after the government extended a federal research and development tax credit through 2013. It now expects to post a profit of $4.45 to $4.65 per share rather than $4.30 to $4.50 per share.

Analysts expect earnings of $4.44 per share.

The company also projected fiscal 2013 revenue of between $4.6 billion and $4.7 billion, while analysts expect $4.63 billion.

Rockwell Collins shares 53 cents to $60.68 in morning trading.