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Cubic shares tumble on weak fiscal 1Q results

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Cubic Corp. tumbled Tuesday after the electronics company announced a fiscal first-quarter profit well below Wall Street expectations.

THE SPARK: On Monday Cubic posted a profit of $12.4 million, or 47 cents per share, down from $20.7 million, or 77 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 70 cents per share in the recent quarter.

Revenue fell about 1 percent to $313.4 million, short of analysts' estimates of $315.8 million.

THE BIG PICTURE: The lower-than-expected quarterly results mainly stemmed from drops in profitability at Cubic's transportation and defense businesses.

Transportation-related operating income tumbled 26 percent to $13.2 million on high costs related to an Australian contract, while defense profits plunged 80 percent to $1.2 million, hurt by lower sales of profitable small arms training systems and air combat training systems to a customer in Asia.

THE ANALYSIS: The weak quarterly results prompted Benchmark analyst Josephine Millward to cut her rating on Cubic to "Hold" from "Buy."

"Although we believe Cubic remains well-positioned to grow over the long-term, we view fiscal 2013 as a transitional year with lower growth in transportation and deceleration in defense," Millward wrote in a note to investors.

THE SHARES: Down $3.45, or 7.1 percent, to $44.95 in heavy afternoon trading, after falling as low as $44.27 earlier in the session. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $41.92 and $52.53.