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What's Next for Textron Now That Lockheed Martin Landed Sikorsky?

8/27/15 2:16 PM EDT
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) deal to sell its Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. business to Lockheed Martin Corp. dashed competitor Textron Inc.'s hopes of acquiring Sikorsky itself. Textron had hoped to combine Sikorsky with its own Bell Helicopter business, but that deal was shadowed with antitrust concerns. In July end, Lockheed Martin won out with a $9 billion bid. Textron's helicopter unit has been hit by declining orders for its V-22 Osprey, and has struggled to grow. According to The Deal's Senior Writer Lou Whiteman, there are few other helicopter businesses to purchase, though Textron could attempt to combine Bell with the helicopter business of Osprey partner Boeing Co. (BA) or perhaps sell it to €6.3 billion-revenue Airbus Helicopters. Still, Whiteman believes any transaction involving Bell would face Pentagon scrutiny. M&A isn't the only strategic avenue Textron could pursue. Analysts who favor the stock argue that whatever revenue pressure Bell experiences in the quarters to come can be offset by margin expansion elsewhere, in particular the business jet unit. And there are new products on the horizon, notably the Bell 525 Relentless helicopter that made its first flight last month and eventually the proposed Scorpion surveillance aircraft being developed in collaboration from AirLand Enterprises LLC. If it is unable to show growth, Textron could feel pressure to consider a breakup, Whiteman said. The Deal's Senior Reporter Lisa Allen has the details, reporting from New York.
Stocks in this video: TXTLMTAIRBAUTX
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