Textron Aerospace and defense company

Shares of Textron Inc. (TXT - Get Report) climbed 5.6% to close at $51.92 Thursday after the aerospace company beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings expectations.

The Providence, Rhode Island-based company reported adjusted earnings of $1.15 a share, up from 74 cents a share a year ago, and beat analysts' forecasts of 98 cents.

Revenue totaled $3.75 billion, which fell short of the consensus estimates of $3.92 billion by 4.4%. Textron, which makes Cessna small planes and Bell helicopters, posted $4.02 billion in revenue a year ago.

"We had strong execution in both the quarter and full year with significant margin improvements at Aviation, Bell, and Systems," Textron Chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly said in a statement. "We were also encouraged by the continued strength in new aircraft demand at Aviation."

Looking ahead, Textron forecast 2019 revenue of about $14 billion, about flat with last year. Textron said it expects full-year 2019 earnings a share from continuing operations will be in the range of $3.55 to $3.75.

Donnelly said that the company's outlook "reflects the continued improvement in our operations to drive earnings growth and margin expansion."

Revenue at Textron Aviation of $1.6 billion were up 12%, the company said, due to higher volume and mix across the jet and commercial turboprop product lines, as well as favorable pricing. Bell revenue were $827 million, down from $983 million last year, primarily on lower military volume.