12 Mar 12. EADS is not ruling out the possibility that the NH Industries NH90 helicopter program could further impact earnings for the company. Development problems have, on numerous occasions, caused both EADS and Thales to take charges against their financial accounts to deal with unanticipated costs. In the 2011 results EADS released March 8, the NH90 was once again one of the main program-related one-off charges. EADS would not break down Eurocopter’s €115m ($150m) charge, saying only that it was linked to government programs (the Tiger attack helicopter and NH90) and costs associated with the unit’s Shape restructuring plan. Departing EADS CFO Hans-Peter Ring says he “cannot guarantee” that there won’t be further charges . He blames the NH90 problems on the companies’ willingness to allow too much customization, with almost every buyer having a near-bespoke configuration. At Thales, past NH90 charges—none were booked in 2011—were linked to the mission system for the maritime version, the NFH90. One source of additional NH90 charges could be the German government’s plans to curtail its buy; Berlin also is looking to trim its procurement of Tiger rotorcraft. (Source: Aviation Week)
14 Mar 12. Europe’s leading space company, Astrium, is “generally interested” in acquiring one of two U.S. digital imagery providers, GeoEye Inc (NSQ:GEOY – News) or DigitalGlobe Inc (NYS:DGI – News), and would look carefully at a deal if the price was affordable, a top Astrium executive told Reuters. Evert Dudok, chief executive of Astrium Satellites, said the company’s parent, Europe’s EADS (PAR:EAD.PA – News), was actively looking for takeover targets in the United States, and either of the two companies would be a good fit with Astrium, which is ranked No. 3 — behind them — in the geospatial information market.
“We are generally interested, but we have to really see whether that makes any sense,” Dudok told Reuters after a panel at the Satellite 2012 conference.
“Should such an occasion arise at a price that is affordable, one would certainly look at it.” Dudok’s comments came after Sean O’Keefe, chief executive of EADS North America, underscored the company’s determination to pump up its U.S. revenues through acquisitions, alliances or mergers, especially in the services and satellites sectors. (Source: Reuters)
15 Mar 12. A 60 per cent increase in TT Electronics’ full-year dividend failed to win over investors, with shares in the electrical components manufacturer falling by as much as 10 per cent. TT, which provides emission controls, electric vehicle components and electronic sensors for carmakers such as BMW and Daimler, boosted 2011 pre-tax profit by more than a quarter year on year to £31.8m ($49.8m) on the back of solid sales in the premium car market. However, the City moved to take profits, dragging down the shares by 10 per cent to 184p in early London trading. Weakness in Europe has been offset by stronger demand for high-end vehicles in India, China and the US, and several dozen of TT’s sensors are present in cars such as the BMW 5 Series car, worth almost €100 per vehicle. (Source: Google)
14 Mar 12. Smiths Industries Plc. Results. From an end market perspective, underlying sales in wireless telecoms grew 12%, largely as a result of growth in Asia and Australia. The military and aerospace segment declined 15%, reflecting US Department of Defense budget cutbacks and delays to some military programmes. Underlying sales to the rail, medical, automation and test markets fell 7% because of lower demand from medical and semiconductor test customers. Looking ahead, Smiths Interconnect will align its reporting segments to its three technology areas of Connectors, Microwave and Power. In Connectors, underlying sales declined 14% due to a mixture of effects. The military market was soft in both the US and Europe and orders from two major medical equipment customers slowed markedly against strong prior year comparators. In a