What: Shares of Hexcel Corporation (NYSE:HXL), one of the largest U.S. producers of carbon fiber and a leading manufacturer of composite parts and structures, surged more than 10% on Friday after the company reported a strong fourth quarter after the market closed on Thursday.
So what: Starting from the top, Hexcel's net sales checked in at $464.9 million, which was a slight 1.5% decline from the prior year's fourth quarter. However, its operating income and net income posted respective gains of 5.3% and 1.9%, to $81.2 million and $53.9 million. On a per-share basis, Hexcel earned $0.56, which topped analysts' estimates of $0.54 per share.
Ultimately, it was a strong end to the year, which set record sales, operating income and margin, net income, and earnings per share. Even better for investors hoping for further growth, Hexcel's operations generated $301 million of cash during 2015, which will continue to fund capital expenditures.
Now what: Going forward, the company expects about 8.5% sales growth in 2015, which will be driven from new commercial aerospace programs, as well as its recently announced Formax acquisition.
Further, Chairman, CEO, and President Nick Stanage commented, "The company's focus in 2016 remains driving manufacturing throughput, capacity expansion, and superior execution for the substantial production ramp up of new programs, led by commercial aerospace."
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