Rockwell International Corp. reported a 53% jump in first-quarter profits, continuing a trend of sharply higher earnings in recent quarters.
The Pittsburgh-based diversified manufacturer said that it earned a record $140.5 million on sales of $2.3 billion in the quarter ended last Dec. 31, up from profits of $91.9 million on revenue of $2 billion in the previous year.
"We continue to anticipate that fiscal 1985 will be our 10th consecutive year of increased earnings and, with the acquisition of Allen-Bradley Co., sales are expected to exceed $11 billion," Rockwell Chairman Robert Anderson said.
Rockwell announced last week that it had agreed to acquire Allen-Bradley, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of factory automation systems and equipment, for $1.65 billion.
Among Rockwell's four core businesses, automotive operations posted the sharpest profit increase, doubling to $65.1 million in the first quarter. Sales were up 18% to $444 million. The North American heavy truck market led the group.
Electronics earnings for the quarter were $73.1 million, an increase of 93% over last year, while electronics sales rose to $615 million, up 23%. Rockwell said performances improved in commercial telecommunications, semiconductors, avionics and defense electronics.
Aerospace profits increased to $97.8 million from $86.6 million a year ago. First-quarter sales for aerospace were $1.1 billion, compared to $900 million last year. General industries earnings rose 21% to $20.5 million on sales of $191 million.