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Chilton Investment Company buys stake in TransDigm in 4Q13

Smita Nair

Must-know: Chilton Investment's Company's 4Q13 positions (Part 5 of 8)

(Continued from Part 4)

Chilton Investment Company and TransDigm

Chilton initiated positions in Abbott Laboratories (ABT), U.S. Bancorp (USB), Macy’s Inc. (M), and TransDigm Group Inc. (TDG). The fund sold its stakes in Genesco Inc. (GCO), Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI), and CarMax Inc. (KMX).

Chilton started a new position in aerospace engineering company TransDigm Group Inc. (TDG) that accounts for 0.76% of the fund’s fourth quarter portfolio.

TransDigm is a leading global designer, producer, and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use in nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service. The company estimates that about 90% of its net sales for fiscal year 2013 were generated by proprietary products. Most of its products generate significant aftermarket revenue. Approximately 53% of TransDigm’s net sales in fiscal year 2013 were generated from aftermarket sales, the vast majority of which come from the commercial and military aftermarkets. These aftermarket revenues have historically produced a higher gross margin and been stabler than sales to original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, according to TransDigm in its annual filing.

TransDigm earnings for 1Q 2014 beat Street estimates. Net sales for the quarter rose 23.0% to $529.3 million from $430.4 million in the comparable quarter a year ago. Organic net sales grew approximately 9.1%. TransDigm said the favorable contribution from the acquisitions of Aerosonic, Arkwin, and Whippany Actuation last year accounted for the balance of the increase in net sales.

The company has been growing via mergers and acquisitions, and it’s looking to acquire proprietary aerospace businesses with significant aftermarket content. In December, TransDigm Group acquired Airborne Systems for approximately $250 million in cash. Airborne Systems is the industry’s leading designer and manufacturer of military personnel parachutes, cargo aerial delivery systems, emergency escape systems, naval decoys, and other related products for the defense industry. The company recently completed the acquisition of Elektro-Metall Export GmbH (EME) for approximately $47.4 million. EME, headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany, manufactures proprietary, highly engineered aerospace electromechanical actuators, electrical and electromechanical components, and assemblies—primarily for commercial aircraft, helicopters, and other specialty applications.

Net income for the quarter rose 16.1%, to $86.1 million, or $1.44 per share, compared to $74.2 million, or $0.66 per share, in the comparable quarter a year ago. The company said it experienced revenue growth in all aerospace markets, and it sees continuing signs of an improving commercial aftermarket, as commercial aftermarket sales rose both sequentially and versus the prior year.

The company revised its full-year guidance to reflect the acquisition of Airborne Systems and its first quarter performance. Net sales are anticipated to be in the range of $2,283 million to $2,343 million (previously in the range of $2,155 million to $2,215 million), compared to $1,924 million in fiscal 2013.

TDG hedge

Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note last month on TransDigm’s results, “Given that pro-forma commercial OEM, commercial aftermarket and defense growth assumptions remain unchanged despite management’s optimistic qualitative outlook on both commercial and defense aftermarket, we believe there is further upward revision potential even without ‘surprise’ M&A.”

Continue to Part 6

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