Lewis Campbell, boss of aerospace giant
, has overseen a dismal year for the company.
But, according to Jim Cramer in his "Mad Money" program Wednesday evening, Campbell's whole career at Textron has been dismal, at least for the company shareholder's.
Campbell took over as chief executive in July 1998, when shares of the company traded at about $36. Though the stock went as high as $74 at the peak of the boom in 2007, it has dropped sharply since -- to $11.43 as of Wednesday's close -- as a slew of difficulties have beset the Providence, R.I.-based conglomerate.
One of Textron's main businesses -- Cessna Aircraft, the world's largest maker of corporate and personal airplanes -- has been killed by the recession. The company has laid off 44% of its employees since November, with more job cuts in the works.
Meanwhile, its Bell Helicopter division suffered profoundly after the U.S. Army spiked a contract for a fleet of reconnaissance choppers, citing the project's budget overruns. And Textron's cart and mower businesses, big suppliers of the golf industry, haven't performed well amid a slump in that market.
But Cramer's biggest gripe concerned Textron's financing unit. During the boom years, this unit branched out from its roots -- financing the purchases of the company's industrial customers -- and into lending money to golf-course and resort developers.
Needless to say, those bets haven't paid off. Cramer said that the financing business continues to cripple Textron, forcing it to raise capital through new stock and bond issuances. The company's first-quarter net income plummeted 63% to $86 million from a year ago, while revenue fell 24%, forcing executives to revise downward their guidance for the year.
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