Rockwell Collins Scouts Deals as Arinc Purchase Boosts Sales

Rockwell Collins Inc. is back in the market for potential deals that would bolster data product sales resulting from its $1.39 billion takeover of Arinc Inc., the aircraft electronics maker’s largest acquisition.

On the radar for Rockwell Collins: small, potentially rapidly growing companies to help expand its “connected airplane portfolio” and Information Management Services unit, Chief Executive Officer Kelly Ortberg said in a telephone interview Friday.

“We are very active right now in looking at additional opportunities that can add to our portfolio,” he said.

Arinc contributed $137 million to sales and $20 million to operating profit in the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company said today in a statement.

Rockwell Collins’s quarterly revenue of $1.23 billion exceeded the $1.21 billion average of 15 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s earnings per share of $1.10, excluding a gain from a tax credit, fell short of the $1.15 projection by analysts.

The shares rose 0.3 percent to $87.26 at the close in New York. They have gained 3.3 percent this year.

The company resumed stock repurchases after absorbing Arinc, which it bought in December 2013. Rockwell Collins bought back 2.2 million shares for $174 million in its first quarter.

Rockwell Collins will consider more repurchases if it doesn’t make any acquisitions in the near future, Ortberg said.

“Our No. 1 priority is growth,” he said. “We don’t leave money sitting around. If the environment doesn’t support acquisitions, we’ll return that capital to our shareholders.”

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