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Woodward buys piece of GE aviation unit for $200M

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- Woodward Inc. said Friday it will buy an aircraft parts unit from General Electric Co. for $200 million, bolstering its aerospace business.

Woodward makes cockpit controls and other equipment for the defense and aerospace markets. It also supplies the energy industry.

The Fort Collins, Colo., company is acquiring GE Aviation Systems' hydraulic thrust reverser actuation systems unit, whose products are used mostly in commercial planes.

Woodward, which reported $1.87 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, expects the GE business to have $150 million in sales for the year ending in September 2013. The deal will also result in a slight profit bump for that year, Woodward said.

The deal fits with the company's recent growth efforts, said Jefferies & Co. analyst Howard Rubel. He predicted that buying the GE unit would add 3 to 4 cents per share to its net income in the first year after closing. Woodward posted earnings per share of $2.01 in its most recent fiscal year.

Shares lost 22 cents to $37.43 in afternoon trading.