Textron Sees Signs Of Stabilization, Improvement

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In a business update that was webcast on Wednesday, executives with Textron, the parent company of Cessna and Bell Helicopters, said "recent data indicate early signs of stabilization" in the economy, and the long-term outlook for deliveries is strong. The percentage of used Citations available for sale improved over the last four months, and daily utilization of the fleet flattened out over the summer, after 18 months of decline, the company said. However, Textron CEO Lewis Campbell said he expects another down year overall for Cessna next year, with "modest recovery" in 2011. Global markets present strong growth opportunities, the company said, and aggressive layoffs and furloughs have cut costs. Cessna is on track to deliver about 275 jets this year.

The report also cited the closing of Cessna's facility in Bend, Ore., as a key part of the company's re-sizing strategy. The Corvalis models that were produced there now are being built in Kansas and Mexico.