Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL) today reported third quarter fiscal year 2013 earnings per share of $1.20, $0.06 higher than earnings per share of $1.14 in the same quarter last year. The 5% increase in earnings per share was due to improved operating performance and the benefit of share repurchases. Net income for the third quarter of 2013 was $164 million, compared with $166 million in the same quarter last year.
For the third quarter of 2013, the company reported a 3% reduction in total sales, to $1.17 billion compared with $1.21 billion last year with Commercial Systems sales increasing 7%, while Government Systems revenue declined 11%. Total segment operating earnings increased $8 million to $261 million, or 22.4 percent of sales this quarter, compared to $253 million, or 21.0 percent in the third quarter of the prior year.
Cash provided by operating activities for the first nine months of 2013 totaled $309 million, an increase of $117 million compared to $192 million last year. The improvement in cash from operations was primarily driven by improved inventory performance, lower tax payments and lower compensation payments.
"Despite the lingering impact of defense budget reductions, I believe the operating performance of our company was outstanding in the third quarter," said Rockwell Collins Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Clay Jones. "Segment operating margins were up 140 basis points driven by a Commercial Systems increase of 340 basis points while Government Systems held roughly flat on declining sales. Additionally, operating cash flow generation is 61% greater than this point last year. This earnings and cash performance was driven by double-digit growth in commercial aftermarket revenue and our continued focus on cost containment, program performance and asset management."Jones went on to state, "Although near-term visibility remains difficult as the U.S. Department of Defense incorporates the impacts of sequestration, we see continued strength in our commercial business. Based on our performance to-date, we are increasing our guidance for earnings per share and operating cash flow toward the high end of our previous range."