Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL) today reported third quarter fiscal year 2012 income from continuing operations of $166 million, an increase of 6%, compared to $157 million in the same period last year. Earnings per share for the quarter were $1.14, an increase of $0.13, or 13%, from earnings per share of $1.01 in the third quarter of 2011. Earnings per share growth was twice the rate of net income growth due to the favorable effect of the company's share repurchase program. Income and earnings per share from continuing operations include a benefit from the lower income tax rate of $7 million, or 5 cents per share, which partially offset the adverse impact of $8 million, or 6 cents per share resulting from the recent bankruptcy and production delays at Hawker Beechcraft.
The company reported total sales of $1.21 billion for the third quarter of 2012, an increase of 1%, while sales reported for the same period last year were $1.19 billion. Total segment operating earnings increased to $253 million compared to $248 million last year, and total segment operating margins increased to 21.0% of sales, up from 20.8% in the third quarter of 2011.
Cash provided by operating activities for the first nine months of 2012 and 2011 totaled $192 million and $246 million, respectively. The $54 million reduction in cash from operations was primarily driven by higher payments for employee incentive compensation and higher income tax payments, partially offset by higher receipts for customer advances.
“In the current challenging market conditions, our balanced business model and capital deployment strategies are providing the stability and shareowner focus that you would expect from Rockwell Collins,” said Rockwell Collins Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Clay Jones. “For the first time in five quarters, Government Systems sales increased to complement moderating revenue in Commercial Systems due to difficult comparables and the impacts from a recent bankruptcy filing by one of our customers. However, despite this modest sales increase, earnings per share increased by double digits due to the increased level of share repurchases that has reduced share count by 7% this year. In addition, we increased our dividend this quarter by 25% to further enhance the return of value to our shareowners.”