Textron's Take On The Economy -- It's Downsizing

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Textron Thursday announced a nearly 20-percent decline in third-quarter profits and plans to shrink its workforce through layoffs and workforce consolidation that along with other measures could save the company $40 million per year. The company's financing division -- which, among other things, provides financing for buyers of new and used Cessna business jets -- showed a 66-percent decline in profits. It earned $18 million where Textron had originally expected $30 million. That reality, plus the uncertainty expressed in the financial markets and credit industry, is countered with another fact: Sales across of most of Textron's businesses rose, including sales of Cessna business jets. Textron Chairman Lewis B. Campbell believes the future economic environment "will continue to be uncertain over at least the next several quarters, but believes "the actions we are taking, combined with our government programs and aircraft order backlog, position us to perform well through these difficult times." Textron's stock lost nearly 80 percent of its value between December of last year and mid-October of 2008.

Hopefully the story for its workers, particularly those laid off from the company's financing division, will read somewhat differently in one year's time.