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Moog profits beat expectations, sales forecast raised

A strong rebound in earnings from its industrial products business helped Moog Inc. boost its second-quarter profits by 3 percent, the Elma motion control equipment maker said today.

The earnings, as well as the company’s sales, were slightly higher than analysts were expecting, prompting Moog executives to inch up their sales forecast for the entire fiscal year, while keeping their profit guidance unchanged.

Moog said it earned $37.7 million, or 82 cents per share, during the quarter that ended in March, up from $36.5 million, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected the company to earn 81 cents.

Moog’s sales also were slightly stronger than analyst forecasts, rising by 1 percent to $649.9 million from $643 million. That was a little better than the $649.2 million analysts were forecasting.

“We’re anticipating margins will improve in the second half on slightly higher sales and an improving mix,” said John Scannell, Moog’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The biggest gains during the quarter came from Moog’s industrial products business, where operating profits jumped by 90 percent to $14.9 million on a 5 percent increase in sales to $151 million. Moog executives said sales of its industrial automation products jumped by 11 percent, while revenues from pitch controls that the company makes for wind energy turbines also strengthened.

Earnings from the company’s space and defense controls business grew by 17 percent to $9 million, despite a 10 percent drop in sales to $95 million. Revenues from products used on satellite and launch vehicles tumbled by 16 percent, while sales for products that are used on military ground vehicles also weakened.

The company’s medical device business boosted its earnings by 5 percent to $1.4 million, despite a 23 percent drop in sales to $27 million, stemming mainly from the sale of its Ethox Buffalo business last June.

Operating profits from its components business fell by 12 percent to $13.5 million, even though its sales inched up by 2 percent to $101 million, mainly because of its acquisition of Aspen Motion Control a year ago.

Earnings from the company’s aircraft controls business slid by 18 percent to $26 million, even though sales rose by 6 percent to $275 million. The company’s sales to commercial jet manufacturers, primarily Boeing and Airbus, grew by 17 percent, while revenues from replacement parts increased by 19 percent as the company began selling spares for the new Boeing 787 commercial jet.

Military aircraft sales fell by 3 percent to $141 million as higher sales for the components Moog makes for the F-35 fighter jet were offset by lower revenues from other fighter jet and helicopter programs. Military aftermarket sales dipped by 4 percent.