Why Textron Inc. Stock Is Being Airlifted Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of defense and industrial conglomerate Textron (NYSE: TXT  ) are ascending as much as 8.7% higher today, reaching new four-year highs.

So what: Revenue for the quarter rose 4% to $3.5 billion. Earnings per share from continued operations leaped 20% to $0.60, which brought earnings per share for the year to $1.75. During the course of 2013, Textron reduced 23% of its debt, which is currently down to $1.98 billion.

CEO and chairman Scott C. Donnelly pointed out that it was a good fourth quarter that generated solid cash across all of its businesses. He credited the success with the company making "significant new product introductions and investments for future growth" of its businesses. Textron plans to make more investments in 2014 that it expects will create long-term shareholder value.

Now what: Textron sees an even better 2014 ahead of it. The company guided for revenue to jump 9% to $13.2 billion along with a 14%-26% rise in earnings per share from continuing operations to between $2.00 and $2.20. The fourth quarter of 2013 marked the first of the last six to show gains, and the outlook suggests that it is the start of a new trend.

The guidance doesn't include any gains from the planned acquisition of Beech Holdings, which is expected to close sometime over the next few months. Textron had announced back in December that it intended to acquire the company for $1.4 billion.

Overall, the results and guidance were close to analyst expectations. The positive reaction from the market may just be a simple case of a bird in the hand equaling two in the bush. Textron has missed analyst estimates several times, so the crowd may be showing its pleasure by rewarding the company due to the simple fact that it did not disappoint and was able to deliver solid results and offer a positive outlook.

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