Rockwell Earnings Jump 23% in Third Quarter

Rockwell International said all of its diversified aerospace, electronic, automotive and industrial operations performed strongly in the quarter ended June 30, resulting in a profit of $160.2 million, a 23% jump over the year earlier.

The strong third-quarter profit virtually guarantees "in spades" Rockwell's earlier prediction that it will post its 10th consecutive record year of earnings this fiscal year, Rockwell President Donald R. Beall said.

"What we are seeing in all of our businesses is the result of heavy investments," he said in an interview. "We are seeing a favorable impact on our cost structures."

The third-quarter profit, up from last year's $132.9 million, came on sales of about $3 billion, a 25% increase over last year's third-quarter sales of $2.4 billion.

Total order backlog was $9.5 billion at June 30, 1985, compared to $10.4 billion a year ago. The decline reflects the timing of defense orders and should rebound sharply when Rockwell completes additional production lots of the B-1 bomber, Beall said.

Beall said he remains hopeful that the Pentagon will order more than the 100 B-1s now planned. He said a recent plan by Congress to evaluate the U.S. bomber force is a favorable portent. Beall also said that South Korea is discussing purchases of the Rockwell OV-10 observation aircraft, which is now out of production. Such a sale would revive the OV-10 line and could generate additional U.S. and foreign sales, he said.

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