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TransDigm (TDG) Gains on Q2 Earnings Beat, Raises View

After a forgettable performance last quarter, aircraft supplier TransDigm Group Incorporated TDG posted remarkable second-quarter fiscal 2016 results, and raised its fiscal 2016 guidance as well.

It posted adjusted quarterly earnings (including stock-based compensation adjustment) of $2.72 per share, trumping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.42 by 12.4%.

The striking beat and upbeat outlook gave the shareholders much to cheer about, and shares skyrocketed almost 11% in the trading session following the release.

The figures also fared impressively in year-over-year comparisons, and registered an increase of almost 35% from the year-ago tally of $2.02 per share.

Net income for the quarter came in at $138.6 million, up 25% from the comparable quarter a year ago. The increase in income was driven primarily by growth in net sales, robust performance in the company’s commercial aftermarket segment and successful cost productivity efforts. However, earnings growth was restricted to some degree by an increase in interest expenses and certain acquisition-related costs.

Inside the Headlines

Net sales for the quarter came to $796.8 million, representing a year-over-year growth of 28.7%. The top line also comfortably surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $779 million .

Notably, the company’s organic sales grew about 4.5% in the quarter. Strong growth in commercial aftermarket revenues (up about 13% versus the prior year) contributed to the top-line. However, Defense revenues, which were down 3% year over year, cast a damper on sales numbers. Commercial OEM also charted weak growth.

TransDigm’s acquisitions, on the other hand, showed robust performance and collectively contributed about $150 million to the increase in net sales. The acquired businesses include Telair Cargo Group, the aerospace business of Franke Aquarotter GmbH, the assets of the aerospace business of Pexco LLC and PneuDraulics, Inc. and the recently acquired Breeze-Eastern.

TransDigm’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) escalated 28% year over year to $368.6 million driven by robust sales and strong gross margin expansion.

Acquisitions

Early in the quarter under review, TransDigm completed the acquisition of Breeze-Eastern Corporation, which designs and manufactures mission critical electromechanical systems, for about $205 million. The acquisition will strengthen TransDigm’s foothold in the aerospace industry, especially in the niche markets of highly-engineered proprietary aerospace components.

Contract Wins

The company has secured notable awards in its aerospace business recently. AvtechTyee won significant bookings with Boeing. The bookings cover multiple configurations of a recently upgraded sealed audio control panel, which is used on the Boeing 737 Next Generation. The company’s unit PneuDraulics won a contract to supply components in four major hydraulic system areas by Textron Aviation for the Cessna Longitude program.

Also, Aero Fluid Products was awarded the oil control manifold under a new program for the A320neo. These contract wins highlight robust growth prospects for the company in the coming quarters.

Liquidity & Share Repurchases

TransDigm ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $612 million compared with $714 million as of Sep 30, 2015. The cash balance was affected by the $146 million payment for the Breeze-Eastern acquisition, net of $31 million of cash acquired.

The company’s long-term debt was $8.1 billion at the quarter end, almost flat with the figure at the end of Sep 2015.

Also, during the quarter, the company repurchased 691,519 shares at an aggregate cost of about $137 million. This takes the buyback tally for the first-half of fiscal 2016 to about 1 million shares, at an aggregate cost of about $208 million. The company had authorized a new share repurchase plan during the reported quarter. The new share repurchase plan comprises buybacks worth approximately $450 million, which will leave the company with roughly $341 million worth of shares under the new authorization.

Fiscal 2016 Guidance Raised

TransDigm expects to witness decent revenue growth in fiscal 2016. The company updated its guidance for the year to reflect recent margin expansion, the present market scenario as well its recent operational performance. Assuming that there are no further acquisition-related expenses, the company believes that the upcoming fiscal year would offer higher value for its shareholders.

For fiscal 2016, the company tweaked its guidance for net sales from previous expectations of $3,144–$3,188 million to a range of $3,151–$3,181 million.

Also, it now expects adjusted earnings in the range of $11.04–$11.28 per share as aginst the prior projections of $10.65–$10.89.

Our Take

After a number of quarters of disconnected growth trends, we believe that TransDigm is on a solid growth track again. Improvement in the commercial aftermarket, coupled with significant uptick in defense bookings bode well for its growth picture in the coming quarters. In addition, the aircraft business is taking off globally, and TransDigm is well placed to capitalize on growth.

Also, the company’s efforts to streamline costs and reduce headcount will likely translate into strong margin expansion in the quarters ahead.

TransDigm presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the aerospace and defense equipment industry are BAE Systems plc BAESY, AeroVironment CAE Inc. CAE and Rolls Royce Holdings plc RYCEY, each holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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