Markets
TDG

TransDigm Loses Altitude Due to Slower Sales, Earnings Growth

Image source: TransDigm Group.

The aerospace industry has been a bastion of strength in a tough macroeconomic environment worldwide, and component-maker TransDigm Group has done a good job of making the most of the opportunities that higher demand for aircraft has created. But coming into Tuesday's fiscal first-quarter financial report, TransDigm investors were nervous about some of the downbeat guidance that aircraft manufacturer Boeing had posted recently, and they wanted to see TransDigm reassure them that the boom in aerospace was not over. TransDigm's results didn't allay those fears, and even a boost in guidance for fiscal 2016 didn't keep the stock from falling. Let's take a closer look at what TransDigm Group said and what could lie ahead for the company.

TransDigm hits turbulence

TransDigm Group's fiscal first-quarter results didn't live up to the high expectations that investors had set for the component-maker. Revenue rose almost 20% to $701.7 million, but that was far below the $738 million consensus estimate for sales for the company. Adjusted net income climbed an even more impressive 27% to $128.7 million. Nevertheless, the resulting adjusted earnings of $2.27 per share was $0.05 below what investors had wanted to see.

Beneath the surface, though, TransDigm's results showed some of the pressures that the aerospace company is dealing with. The only reason that TransDigm posted any revenue growth at all was because of its four major acquisitions over the past year, which added $121.4 million to its top line. Without those transactions, organic sales actually fell 1%. Still, TransDigm made the most of its revenue, using proprietary products and moves to boost productivity to offset higher interest expenses on its debt and other acquisition-related costs.

TransDigm CEO Nicholas Howley pointed to strength in the commercial transport industry on both the aftermarket and original-equipment manufacturing sides of the segment, but revenue related to business jets and helicopters fell off. "Our constant focus on our value-based operating strategy, including our first quarter cost reductions, continued to show results," Howley said.

Can TransDigm bounce back?

In addition to those efforts, TransDigm continues to look for smart acquisitions to bolster its presence in the industry. The company trumpeted its recently completed tender offer for aircraft and weapons lifting and pulling systems maker Breeze-Eastern for just over $200 million, and TransDigm seems ready to jump on additional opportunities if they arise in the future.

The Breeze-Eastern transaction was one reason TransDigm cited for boosting its guidance, but the increases didn't give investors much more than they already expected from the company's future. New sales guidance of $3.144 billion to $3.188 billion was higher by roughly 2%, but the current consensus forecast for full-year revenue is near the upper end of that range. Similarly, adjusted earnings of $10.65 to $10.89 per share represented a $0.32 per share boost, but the current forecast among investors for $10.75 per share makes it clear that investors had already allowed for the positive impact from the acquisition.

Yet TransDigm also expressed some concerns about the near-term future. In the company's conference call, Howley said that "we continue to have some concerns about duration of the commercial transport OEM cycle," noting that softening economic activity could affect travel. That's consistent with what Boeing's somewhat tepid guidance suggests, even though Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in Boeing's conference call in late January that "the fact that we are ramping up should convey our general confidence in the marketplace."

TransDigm shares moved sharply downward on the earnings and revenue miss, falling 13% for the session following the announcement. With the stock market so skittish, TransDigm will have to prove to investors that it can survive any potential global economic slowdown and still produce the long-term growth that investors want. Otherwise, the company will have a hard time pushing its share price back higher.

The next billion-dollar iSecret

The world's biggest tech company forgot to show you something at its recent event, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn't miss a beat: There's a small company that's powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here .

The article TransDigm Loses Altitude Due to Slower Sales, Earnings Growth originally appeared on Fool.com.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends TransDigm Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

Copyright © 1995 - 2016 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

TDG BA

Other Topics

Stocks

Latest Markets Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More