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Precision Castparts hits new high on big profits

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Precision Castparts rocketed to an all-time high in trading Thursday after breezing past Wall Street profit expectations for the fourth quarter.

The company makes components for the Boeing Co. 737 and 787, which are both being built at an increasingly fast pace.

Net income jumped 23 percent to $414.2 million, or $2.82 per share, up from $336.1 million, or $2.30 per share a year earlier. Revenue rose 25 percent to $2.44 billion, from $1.95 billion a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $2.76 on revenue of $2.51 billion.

In January, Precision Castparts Corp. bought Titanium Metals of Dallas, known as Timet, which supplies nearly one-fifth of the world's titanium.

Timet "was the largest driver of sales growth in the fourth quarter" in its forged products division, the company said.

Sales in that unit rose 31 percent to $1.18 billion, and operating income rose 23 percent to $252.8 million.

Revenue in the company's airframe products unit rose 40 percent to $685.1 million, and operating income rose 42 percent to $198 million. The unit benefited from acquisitions as well as 10 percent revenue growth from its existing business.

Company shares jumped nearly 9 percent, the biggest gainer on the Standard & Poor's 500 index, rising $17.19 to $209.21. Shares at one point hit $211.89 per share.