Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins cuts 300 jobs

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CEDAR RAPIDS - Rockwell Collins Inc., a maker of electronics and aviation systems for the aeronautics industry and the military, said Monday it is laying off 300 workers and implementing other cost cutting measures.

The layoffs represent about 1.5 percent of its work force. It will also cut 100 contract workers, primarily in engineering functions.

The company said it also will defer or eliminate some open positions, reduce discretionary spending and delay 2009 merit raises for management and most other employees for three months.

"Like many other companies, we're dealing with significant challenges in meeting our business objectives. These challenges include air travel declines resulting from the weaker global economy, delays and cancellations in several government programs, and the prolonged Boeing strike," said chief executive Clay Jones.

Last week Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins said the U.S. military canceled the Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, run by Textron Inc., and deferred a $35 billion aerial-refueling tanker contract awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp. and a $15 billion combat, search-and-rescue helicopter contract awarded to Boeing Co. Rockwell Collins is a supplier on those defense contracts.

Both deferred contracts were disputed by the losing companies and have been placed on hold until the next administration.

Jones said last week that the company still expects to deliver solid growth in its government-systems business at roughly 6 percent, however the company revised downward its profit expectations. It now expects earnings per share between $4.25 and $4.45, down from its prior estimate of $4.35 and $4.55. The company lowered its revenue forecast to $4.9 billion to $4.95 billion, down from $5.05 billion to $5.1 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of $4.39 per share on revenue of $5.06 billion.

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