Precision Castparts

(PCP)

said fourth-quarter earnings rose 52% from a year ago.

The Portland,Ore.-based company posted net income of $100.4 million, or 73 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared with $66.0 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding discontinued operations, the metal component manufacturer earned 74 cents a share in the latest quarter. On that basis, analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating earnings of 70 cents a share.

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Precision said sales rose 17.7% to $952.6 million while operating income rose 34.8%, with a 210-basis-point improvement in margins. The Wall Street revenue estimate was $922.8 million, according to Thomson First Call. Though the automotive markets saw a slowdown, a strong aerospace market lifted the company's sales.

Three of Precision's business segments, investment cast products, fastener products and forged products, rose 10.6%, 20.4% and 36.5%, while sales of industrial products dropped 4.1%. The decline was due to the downturn in the automotive sector.

"As a result of new applications and market share growth, we are seeing unprecedented levels of demand, and there are still tremendous opportunities for more effective execution and further operational efficiencies in every one of our businesses. In addition, we are also very excited about our involvement on new aircraft programs, like the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787, on which we have significant dollar content. These aircraft will fuel even further top- and bottom-line growth over the next several years," the company said.

The company's shares were trading at $65.49, down $1.05, or 1.6% Tuesday.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.