It's no secret that the aerospace industry has been one of the healthiest sectors of the economy, with unprecedented demand for new aircraft models driving higher sales and demand for the systems and components that go into planes. TransDigm Group (NYSE:TDG) has captured at least its fair share of business from the aerospace boom from manufacturers like United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), and coming into Thursday's fiscal fourth-quarter financial report, TransDigm investors had ambitious expectations for the company's continued growth. TransDigm did a good job of capitalizing on its opportunities, producing better results than most had expected. Let's look more closely at how TransDigm Group's results looked this quarter and whether the company can maintain positive momentum looking into the future.
TransDigm keeps gaining altitude
TransDigm Group's fiscal fourth-quarter results reflected renewed strength in the aerospace business. Revenue jumped 26% to $809.8 million, which was slightly better than the consensus forecast among investors. Adjusted net income climbed 28% to $160.3 million, and that produced adjusted earnings of $2.83 per share, which was $0.27 per share higher than what investors had expected to see from TransDigm.
A closer look at TransDigm's results shows how the company's acquisition strategy has been a key to its growth. The company pointed to transactions involving Telair, Franke Aquarotter, Pexco, and PneuDraulics as adding $139.1 million to sales, making up about five-sixths of TransDigm's total gain in revenue. That left organic growth of about 4.5% on the top line. On the earnings front, higher interest expenses came as a result of the $950 million increase in outstanding debt that TransDigm used in the Franke and Pexco deals. Acquisition-related costs also weighed on net income.
TransDigm CEO Nicholas Howley cast a positive light on the company's results. "In total, our revenues for the core businesses we owned at the beginning of fiscal 2015 were roughly in alignment with our original expectations," Howley said, "despite softness in the commercial aftermarket." Howley also was pleased that margin performance also improved considerably during the course of the year.
What's next for TransDigm?
The key to future growth, though, will be in the merger and acquisition opportunities that TransDigm has capitalized on. As Howley put it, the businesses that TransDigm bought "all met our stringent strategic and value-creation requirements," and they'll play a vital role in helping the aerospace components manufacturer boost its presence in the industry.
Still, organic growth remains important. Deals like TransDigm's September agreement to expand its partnership with United Technologies' UTC Aerospace Systems to provide ignition-system components reflect the good reputation that TransDigm has in the industry, and with United Technologies and other aircraft manufacturers seeing a ramp-up in demand for their products, suppliers like TransDigm will continue to get tapped to provide necessary products.
TransDigm's guidance for fiscal 2016 was somewhat mixed. Sales projections for $3.07 billion to $3.12 billion would represent gains of around 13% to 15%, which is somewhat less than the 17% consensus forecast for fiscal 2016 revenue growth. Yet guidance for adjusted earnings of $10.33 to $10.57 per share is at the high end of investor expectations.
TransDigm shares jumped on the positive news, and the company's results and outlook support the idea that the aerospace industry will continue to see growth in the near-future. For long-term investors, TransDigm has worked hard to put itself in the best strategic situation possible to foster gains in sales and net income in the years to come. As long as demand in the aerospace industry remains strong, TransDigm's relationships with United Technologies and other key players in the aircraft manufacturing space should continue to pay off in better prospects ahead.