Lagging aerospace sales dampened profits at Bloomfield-based Kaman Corp. in the first quarter.
The company reported results after the market closed Monday. Its shares lost 91 cents to close at $34.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.
While the company said net sales climbed 2.5 percent to $388.7 million in the most recent quarter, net operating income was $17.1 million, a drop of 29 percent from last year when it reporte3d $24.5 million in operating income. Diluted earnings per share were also lower at 36 cents compared to 47 cents a year ago. This quarter included a 7 cent benefit to earnings from a life insurance policy on a key executive who passed away last year.
The company, which is a key subcontractor to Sikorsky Aircraft and other defense and aerospace corporations, said fewer Sikorsky Black Hawk requirements lowered revenue in the quarter. But the larger issue involved its joint programmable fuze program for the U.S. Air Force. Kaman makes the fuses used to arm and set bomb detonations in flight. The company is in its eighth contract extension with the Air Force, but noted high tolerance testing parameters are expected to delay the program periodiacaly, which happened this time around. Still the company said it shipped more JPF than a year ago.
Kaman will hold a conference call with analysts on Tuesday.
A key to Kaman going forward is diversifying its business and the expansion of the use of unmanned helicopters. Kaman has a remote controlled helicopter delivering supplies in Afghanistan already and could see demand for that aircraft rise in the future.