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Moog Inc. has sunny outlook for 2019

Moog Inc. sees strong results coming next year.

The Elma-based maker of motion control equipment recently wrapped up its 2018 fiscal year, and on Friday it provided an outlook for its 2019 results. Moog forecasts a 6 percent increase in sales, to $2.9 billion, and full-year earnings per share of $5.25.

Moog expects growth from across its businesses – aircraft controls, space and defense controls, and industrial systems – rather than just one segment, said John Scannell, the chairman and CEO. "We're pretty bullish at the moment."

Moog is counting on another year of strong revenue from its work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. That project fueled an expansion Moog has underway at its headquarters. The company hopes to start using that expanded space next spring, Scannell said.

Moog next year also expects ramped-up sales of a turret system the company has developed for military vehicles, on more of a niche basis rather than competing head to head with the big defense contractors. The company expects sales generated by that system to leap to over $50 million in its 2019 fiscal year, from $3 million in the 2017 fiscal year.

The turret system helps military vehicles counter threats from unmanned aerial vehicles, Scannell said. "The [armed] forces are looking for, 'Can you give me a solution that I can use to try move more quickly, track something?' "

Moog in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 29, recorded profits of $40.6 million, up 5.2 percent from $38.6 million a year ago. It reported diluted earnings per share of $1.14, up 6.5 percent from $1.07 a year ago and beating analysts' estimates. "It was a good, solid finish to the year," Scannell said.

For the full fiscal year, Moog had profits of $96.5 million, down 32 percent from the year before. Scannell said U.S. tax reform and Moog's exit from the wind energy equipment business dragged down results.

Exiting the wind products business "was a tough thing to do," Scannell said. "We invested a lot of money in that over quite a few years, believing that there was an opportunity. Eventually we decided we couldn't get there. But (the exit) will be reflected in some higher margins" in fiscal 2019.

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