Commercial, Military, Public Service

Bell Q1 Earnings: Stumble With H-1, Optimism With 412

By S.L. Fuller | April 20, 2017

Heliservicio Bell 412

A Heliservicio Bell Helicopter 412. Photo courtesy of Bell

Textron saw a dip in revenue of $3.1 billion in the first quarter this year, a 3.4% decrease from this period last year. Textron Chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly said the results are “consistent with our expectations.”

“We are continuing to execute our restructuring plan while maintaining our focus on new product investment and the integration of acquired businesses, all of which will have a positive impact on our long-term growth outlook,” he said.


Segment profit for Bell Helicopter was up $1 million in Q1 2017. Textron attributes this to improved performance. Year over year, Donnelly estimated that Bell’s aftermarket growth was up slightly. The company delivered 27 commercial helicopters in Q1 2017, compared to 30 in Q1 2016. On the military side, the number of V-22s delivered stayed flat with Q1 2016 at six, but the number of H-1s delivered was significantly lower (three in Q1 2017 compared to 10 in Q1 2016). Backlog was $5.7 billion at the end of Q1 2017, up $292 million from the previous quarter. Bell revenues, though, were down $117 million.

“We had some tolerance issues, which has been resolved in aircraft during flight tests, so I expect we’re more or less on plan in terms of how we expect the year to go from a revenue standpoint,” Donnelly said regarding the H-1 program. “I think I wouldn’t change our guidance in terms of how we think about Bell for the balance of the year. But [it was] certainly a strong performance with no one specific thing or no specific mix impact that affected it.”

Bell’s margin rate for the year looks to be heading in the right direction, Donnelly said. Despite the H-1 program setbacks, he said the company continues “to feel pretty good about opportunities around the 412.”

“Our sales team still feels pretty bullish on a number of important 412 opportunities that are out there. Several units did close in the quarter, and we have a number of deals, which are multi-aircraft orders that are progressing well,” he said. “As you know, the 412 is virtually exclusively an international product. So these things, particularly the extent that some are government involved, usually take a little bit longer than any of us would like. But they continue on the path to closure, and we still feel good about it.”


Transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

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