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Textron(TXT - Get Report) owns some of the industry's best brands, including Cessna airplanes and Bell helicopters. The firm is a major manufacturer of civil and military aircraft, as well as the parts that they need to keep running and an industrial arm that reaches beyond the aviation industry.
So far this year, Textron has climbed 41%. That puts relative strength on our side this fall.
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The name "Cessna" may conjure up images of tiny single-engine airplanes, but the unit's biggest product is business jets. Cessna's Citation line of jets is the league leader in the corporate aviation world, ranging from the tiny owner-operated Citation Mustang to the all-new Citation Ten. While the jet business is extremely cyclical, new advances in engine technology are increasing the cost argument for upgrading corporate flight departments, particularly as the cost of fuel climbs and premium airline fares rise with them. Even though Textron's defense business has been under a big magnifying glass in the wake of the ongoing budget debate on Capitol Hill, the firm has managed to maintain the lion's share of the dollars coming in from the Department of Defense.
Textron's captive finance arm was a big reason for the firm's major drop in the wake of the recession. The decision to cut the extra lending activities at Textron Finance was a good one - the firm needs to stick to its core business. At this point, the finance business is stronger, more liquid, and cheap than it ever was before, and that sets the stage for a Textron rebound in 2012.