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Moog’s third-quarter profits are flat, but better than analysts expected

Moog Inc.’s third-quarter was flat, but it was better than analysts expected.

The Elma motion control equipment maker – one of the region’s biggest employers with about 2,600 workers at its Elma campus – said Friday that its profits were unchanged during the quarter that ended in June as stronger earnings from its aircraft controls and satellite businesses offset weakness at its industrial products, components and medical device units.

“It was a solid quarter,” said John Scannell, Moog’s chairman and CEO.

Moog earned $36.31 million, or $1 per share, compared with $36.33 million, or 94 cents per share, a year ago, when the company had more shares outstanding. The earnings were better than the 88 cents per share that analysts were expecting.

Moog’s earnings held steady even though its sales slipped by 6 percent to $613 million from $634 million, mostly because of an 18 percent drop in sales from its components business, which was hurt by weakness in the aerospace and defense industry, as well as softness among its customers in its energy, medical and industrial markets.

The sales were weaker than the $639 million that analysts had forecast.

Moog said it expects its profits during the fiscal year that ends in September to be around $3.35 per share, unchanged from its earlier guidance, but slightly lower than the $3.36 per share that analysts are forecasting. Moog predicted that its sales for the year would reach $2.42 billion, slightly less than the $2.46 billion analysts were expecting.

During the third quarter, earnings from Moog’s biggest business – its aircraft controls segment that accounts for about 45 percent of its total revenues – rose by 8 percent as Airbus sales jumped 45 percent because of the ramp-up in production of its A350 commercial jet.

Earnings from its space and defense business more than doubled, despite a 5 percent dip in sales. Operating profits were down 12 percent at its industrial systems unit, despite flat sales, while earnings at its components business tumbled 28 percent on an 18 percent decline in revenues.

“Our industrial busiensses are kind of moving sideways,” Scannell said.

Without much growth in those industrial markets, Moog is trying to develop new products – such as a new generation of motors and controls that can turn wind turbines so they are facing into the wind – as a way of increasing revenue.

“The focus really is on new initiatives for growth and to take market share, rather than wait for the markets to recover,” he said.

The company’s medical device business – Moog’s smallest unit – saw a 38 percent drop in operating profits, despite a 1 percent increase in revenue.

Scannell noted that NASA’s Juno probe that arrived at Jupiter earlier this month after a five-year voyage, had avionics equipment, valves and satellite booster engines made by Moog as many as eight or nine years ago.

He also said the Embraer E2 commercial jet, which uses a flight control system developed by Moog, had a successful first flight during May – a step toward the aircraft moving into production.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com

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