Company Town : Automotive, Printing Units Boost Rockwell Profit


Citing growth in its automotive and printing operations, Rockwell International Corp. said Monday that its earnings were up 10.2% for the latest quarter.

The diversified high-technology company reported a profit of $164.7 million, or 76 cents a share, for its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31. That compares to earnings of $149.5 million, or 68 cents a share, for the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the three months was $2.62 billion, compared to $2.60 billion a year earlier.

The Seal Beach-based company's performance was strong in its automation, automotive parts and printing-press segments. Sales in Rockwell's aerospace and defense electronics segments fell by $135 million, or 15.4%, to $740 million.

In a prepared statement, Chairman Donald R. Beall said the increased profit in the face of declining defense revenue underscores the success Rockwell has had in "significantly changing" the composition of the company as it moves away from aerospace and military contracting.

Commercial and international sales grew 10%, Beall said, and for the latest quarter represented almost 70% of total revenue, up from 64% a year earlier.

Rockwell expects to complete its acquisition of Reliance Electric Co. this month, Beall said, and expects the addition of the Cleveland-based maker of electronic systems to add substantially to international sales and overall financial performance.

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