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Ducommun stock hit by earnings miss

Keywords: Tags  Ducommun. Ducommun AeroStructures, aerospace, Anthony Reardon, quarterly earnings, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Ducommun Inc.’s first-quarter results fell below Wall Street expectations despite a 55.1-percent rise in earnings, sending its stock price plummeting this week.

The Los Angeles-based aerospace and defense contractor’s net income totaled $3.7 million (35 cents per diluted share) for the three months ended March 31, up from $2.4 million (23 cents per share) in the same year-ago period, despite sales that fell 4.6 percent to $175.9 million from $184.3 million.

The latest figures, released May 6, generally fell below analysts’ expectations of an average of $185.73 million in sales and earnings of 41 cents per share, according to Yahoo Finance.

Ducommun’s common stock on May 7 lost about 27 percent of its previous day’s value, ending the day at $19.47 per share, the day’s largest decline reported by the New York Stock Exchange. The value continued to decline May 8, shedding another 7.5 percent to finish at 18.01 per share.

Meanwhile, sequestration has hampered Ducommun’s ability to predict future defense business. While Ducommun’s defense backlog is higher now than it was at this time last year, its visibility is "hindered by the lack of clarity in terms of federal budget," chairman, president and chief executive officer Anthony J. Reardon said during an earnings call.

The commercial aerospace industry provides "growth opportunities" and Ducommun is seeing "active bidding" by Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Toulouse, France-based Airbus SAS on the type of products it supplies, he said.

First-quarter operating income for the company’s Ducommun AeroStructures segment, which includes its titanium fabrication operations, was flat at $6.6 million on a 2.2-percent decline in revenue to $72.7 million. The company attributed that slump to a drop in sales of military and commercial helicopter components, partially offset by higher sales of commercial aircraft products.

Ducommun’s backlog at the end of the first quarter was $638 million, down from $656 million at the end of 2012. Ducommun AeroStructures’ backlog declined during the same period to $300 million from $320 million, of which $191.6 million was in commercial aerospace and the remainder in military and space.

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