Having once owned Curtiss-Wright (NYSE:CW) shares, I've always kept the company somewhere on my watch list with the idea that it could perhaps be a good idea again. Well, maybe someday, but probably not anytime soon. Although the company is seeing renewed demand in the commercial aviation and energy/petrochemical industries, the stock more or less reflects that bump quite plainly.

That's not to say that third-quarter results weren't all right, even though they were a bit below both top- and bottom-line analyst estimates. Sales rose 15%, helped along by 8% organic growth, and the operating margin expanded nicely. With better margins, operating income rose 27%. Higher interest and tax expenses ate through some of that amount, though, and net income was up 19% for the quarter.

As new orders of 16% might suggest, the pace of overall business is pretty good. The metal treatment business saw double-digit revenue growth and benefited from both the commercial aerospace market and, oddly enough, the automotive market. Motion control revenue rose 13% with good growth in military programs at Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), and flow control sales were up 19% on good sales growth in the oil and gas markets.

While these are certainly better days for the aerospace, oil/gas, and even some parts of the defense market, management nevertheless revised guidance in a slightly negative direction. I'd say that the culprits -- a strike at Boeing and a changed procurement decision from the Navy -- are out of management's control, but it's still not good news.

Looking at valuation, I don't see any appealing discount to entice me to buy shares in a company heavily exposed to cyclical markets and revisable federal budget decisions. I like that the company does a good job of separating organic growth from reported growth in its earnings, but a little added clarity doesn't in itself make for much of an economic moat or margin of safety.

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).