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Industrial manufacturing firm $WNC has appointed Mike Pettit as SVP and Group President for its Final Mile Products division, effective January 1, 2018. Pettit joined Wabash in 2012 as Director of Finance for Commercial Trailer Products, and went on to become VP of Finance and Investor Relations in 2014. Earlier, he held finance positions at $F.
$CAT reported a 35% YoY rise in its 4Q17 revenue. This increase was mainly due to the increase in volume, driven by an increase in end user demand for new equipment across all regions. The largest increase came from North America, due to improved demand for construction equipment as well as onshore oil and gas equipment.
$NOC continues to expect that capital expenditures will remain elevated in 2018 and 2019 before starting to return to a new normal that reflects a larger business. For 2018, the company does have additional CapEx as well as $100-150MM in costs from incremental interest and transaction cost related to its pending acquisition of $OA.
For 2018, $NOC expects Technology Services sales to be in the mid $4Bil range, with an operating margin rate of about 10%. Lower 2018 revenue is primarily due to expected declines in the KC-10 and JRDC programs. Lower revenue for these programs is being partially offset by growth in other programs.
For 2018, $NOC expects Mission Systems sales to grow to the mid to high $11Bil range with an operating margin of about 13%. Primary revenue growth drivers include continued ramp-up on combat avionics and communications programs, including F-35 sensors, SABR radar, and infrared countermeasures.
For 2018, $NOC expect Aerospace Systems to grow at top line at a high single-digit rate to the high $12Bil range. Growth in restricted activities will continue to be a major driver of revenue growth, along with continued ramp-up on the F-35 program. The company expects 2018 operating margin at Aerospace Systems to be in the low to mid 10% range.
$NOC currently expect the $OA transaction to close in 1H of this year. In late November, $OA shareholders overwhelmingly approved the terms of the transaction. The FTC is reviewing the proposed transaction in the U.S. in consultation with the DoD and $NOC notified the European Commission on Jan. 18 under the simplified procedure notice.
Maker of mining trucks $CAT plunged into loss in 4Q17 hit by a charge of $2.4Bil related to the U.S. tax reforms. The loss was $2.18 per share, compared with a loss of $2.00 per share in 4Q16. On a non-GAAP basis, the company reported earnings of $2.16. However, revenue surged more than 30% to $12.9Bil during the quarter.
For 2018, $NOC expects sales of about $27Bil and EPS of $15.00-15.25. The company predicts segment operating margin in low-mid 11% range and operating margin of about 12%. $NOC sees effective tax rate of about 19.5%, capital expenditures of about $1Bil and free cash flow in the range of $2.0-2.3Bil.
$NOC's Aerospace Systems sales for 4Q17 rose 5% year-over-year, due to growth in Manned Aircraft and Autonomous Systems. Mission Systems sales grew 6%, on higher volume for Sensors and Processing and Advanced Capabilities programs. Technology Services sales slid 1% on lower volume for System Modernization and Services and Advanced Defense Services.
$NOC's operating income for 4Q17 decreased to $767MM from $831MM last year. The decline is primarily due to higher transaction costs from pending acquisition of $OA and deferred state tax expense from discretionary pension contribution. It also includes changes in contract mix at Aerospace Systems and Mission Systems.
$NOC reported a drop in 4Q17 earnings due to higher tax expenses from Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enactment and $500MM discretionary pre-tax pension contribution related to the write-down of deferred tax assets. Net income fell to $178MM or $1.01 per share from $525MM or $2.96 per share last year. Sales rose 4% to $6.6Bil. Adjusted EPS was $2.82.
$F reported 4Q17 revenue of $41.3Bil, up 6.7%, amidst unfavorable forex rates and higher commodity prices. The second-largest US automaker swung to a profit of $2.4Bil, or $0.60 per share, from a loss in the year-ago quarter. Excluding one-off items, net income during this period was 39 cents per share.