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Curtiss-Wright (CW) Down 3.9% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Curtiss-Wright (CW - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 3.9% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Curtiss-Wright due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Curtiss-Wright Q1 Earnings Top Estimates, Sales Down Y/Y

Curtiss-Wright reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.51 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.30 by 16.2%. Moreover, the bottom line grew 12.7% from $1.34 per share reported a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported GAAP earnings of $1.45 per share compared to $1.21 reported in the year-ago quarter.

Operational Performance

In the quarter under review, the company’s total sales of $597.1 million decreased 1% year over year. The top line, however, exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $581 million by 2.7%.

Gross profit increased 5% year over year to $209.7 million. Operating income of $85.1 million improved 17.5% from $72.4 million a year ago.

Curtiss-Wright’s total backlog at the end of the first quarter of 2021 was $2.2 billion. New orders of $571 million increased 3% from the prior-year period, driven by solid demand for defense electronics and the contribution from the PacStar acquisition.

Segmental Performance

Aerospace & Industrial: Sales in this segment fell 20% year over year to $180.3 million. This is primarily attributable to reduced OEM sales of actuation and sensors equipment, as well as surface treatment services.

While adjusted operating income declined 41% to $19 million, operating margin contracted 360 basis points (bps) to 10.6%. The decline in the operating income was due to reduced absorption on lower commercial aerospace market sales and higher research and development costs.

Defense Electronics: Sales in this segment grew 30% year over year to $181.2 million. This uptick can be attributed to higher sales of embedded computing equipment on various helicopter and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms, including the Blackhawk and Global Hawk, respectively.

Meanwhile, the adjusted operating income surged 52% to $36.6 million and the adjusted operating margin expanded 300 bps to 20.2%. The upside can be attributable to higher absorption and favorable mix on strong defense electronics sales, and benefits of its containment initiatives.

Naval & Power: Sales in this segment improved a mere 0.3% year over year to $235.5 million on account of increased production revenues on the Virginia-class submarine and CVN-81 aircraft carrier programs, as well as higher spares and service center sales.

While operating income rallied 35% to $38.1 million, the operating margin expanded 420 bps to 16.2%. The upside was primarily driven by an improved mix in naval defense related to the timing of fleet spares and service center revenues.

Financial Update

Curtiss-Wright ended the first quarter of 2021 with cash and cash equivalents of $147.1 million, down 26% from $198.2 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

Long-term debt summed $957.9 million compared with $958.3 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

Operating cash outflow from continuing operations totaled $26.6 million at the end of first-quarter 2021 compared with $192.6 million in the prior-year quarter.

Adjusted free cash flow at the end of the reported quarter was $35.1 million compared with the year-ago quarter’s $52.9 million.

Guidance 2021

Curtiss-Wright has increased its financial guidance for 2021. The company now expects adjusted earnings of $7.10-$7.30 per share.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s full-year earnings is pegged at $7.19 per share, which lies near the midpoint of the company’s guided range.

The company currently expects to generate sales of $2,450-$2,500 million for 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its full-year sales is pegged at $2,480 million, above the midpoint of the company-guided range.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates have trended downward during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, Curtiss-Wright has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with a B. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Curtiss-Wright has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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