Continuing its successful expansion beyond the defense and aerospace industries, Rockwell International Corp. Wednesday reported a profit of $634.1 million for its latest fiscal year, up 13% from earnings of $561.9 million for the previous 12 months.
Annual revenue rose from $10.84 billion to $11.12 billion.
The results reflect the "continuing significant shift of Rockwell's business to higher-growth commercial and international markets," said Donald R. Beall, the company's chairman and chief executive officer.
Gains were strongest in the company's automation and telecommunications business units, Beall said, which together posted an annual sales increase of 23%. Those units make products such as modems for personal computers and vehicle components.
Analysts said Rockwell's results were in line with their expectations.
"Overall, they were on track," said Cai Von Rumohr, who follows the company for the brokerage Cowen & Co. in Boston.
Rockwell, based in Seal Beach, has been among the most successful of the large aerospace companies, analysts said, in making the transition into civilian and international markets as U.S. defense spending shrinks. With commercial and international customers accounting for about 65% of its sales, Rockwell now describes itself as "a diversified high-technology company."
"All these guys are trying to restructure and keep their costs in line," Von Rumohr said. "I think Rockwell saw it coming sooner."
Wolfgang Demisch, an analyst with BT Securities in New York, said Rockwell has excelled at reinvesting its profits from the military buildup of the 1980s as well as work for NASA on the space shuttle program.
"They have run a careful, conservative ship," Demisch said of Rockwell's executives. "They decided back when the B1 (strategic bomber program) was going strong that they'd take their money and invest it in more industrial-market applications."
Rockwell said its annual results were boosted by a strong fourth quarter. For the three months ended Sept. 30, the company reported a profit of $165 million, or 75 cents a share, up 10% from earnings of $150 million, or 68 cents a share, for the same period a year earlier. Three-month revenue was $2.9 billion, up from $2.8 billion.
Earnings per share for the fiscal year were $2.87, up from $2.55 for the previous 12 months.
In Wednesday's trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Rockwell's stock dropped 37.5 cents a share to close at $35.
Rockwell on a Roll
For its fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, Rockwell International Corp. reported a profit of $165 million, a 10% increase from the same period a year earlier. Earnings for the fiscal year also climbed. Figures in millions of dollars except data per share:
4th qtr 4th qtr 12 months 12 months 1993 1994 1993 1994 Revenue $2,844 $2,888 $10,840 $11,123 Net income $150.0 $165.0 $561.9 $634.1 Per share $0.68 $0.75 $2.55 $2.87
Source: Rockwell International Corp.