This Aerospace & Electronics Company Is A Better Pick Over Textron Stock

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We believe that  Heico stock (NYSE: HEI), an aerospace & electronics company, is currently a better pick than Textron stock (NYSE: TXT) despite being the more expensive of the two, trading at 8.8x trailing revenues compared to 1.1x for Textron. Looking at stock returns, Heico, with a 9% rise in the last twelve months, has outperformed Textron, down 10%, and the broader S&P500 index, down 13%. While both companies will likely see continued top-line expansion, Heico is expected to outperform. There is more to the comparison, and in the sections below, we discuss why we believe HEI stock will offer better returns than TXT stock in the next three years. We compare a slew of factors, such as historical revenue growth, returns, and valuation, in an interactive dashboard analysis of Textron vs. HeicoWhich Stock Is A Better Bet? Parts of the analysis are summarized below.

1. Heico’s Revenue Growth Is Better

  • Heico’s revenue growth of 18.4% for the last twelve months is far better than a decline of 1.4% for Textron.
  • Even if we look at a longer time frame, Heico has fared better, with its sales rising at an average annual rate of 3.2% to $2.2 billion in fiscal 2022 (fiscal ends in October), compared to $1.9 billion in 2019. In comparison, Textron’s sales have declined at an average annual rate of 3.6% to $12.4 billion in 2021, compared to $14.0 billion in 2018.
  • The revenue decline for Textron can primarily be attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the company’s businesses, especially aviation and industrial. A reduction in aircraft utilization impacted its aviation aftermarket business as well. Tepid travel demand and supply chain issues led to order cancellations in 2020.
  • While aviation demand has picked up over the last year or so, Textron’s Bell helicopter revenue has decreased due to lower military demand.
  • Heico’s revenue growth has been driven by increased demand for its commercial aerospace products and services, given the recovery in global commercial air travel. The company has also benefited from its aftermarket services.
  • Our Textron Revenue Comparison and Heico Revenue Comparison dashboards provide more insight into the companies’ sales.
  • Looking forward, Heico’s revenue is expected to grow faster than Textron’s over the next three years. The table below summarizes our revenue expectations for the two companies over the next three years. It points to a CAGR of 10.7% for Heico, compared to a 4.5% CAGR for Textron, based on Trefis Machine Learning analysis.
  • Note that we have different methodologies for companies that are negatively impacted by Covid and those that are not impacted or positively impacted by Covid while forecasting future revenues. For companies negatively affected by Covid, we consider the quarterly revenue recovery trajectory to forecast recovery to the pre-Covid revenue run rate. Beyond the recovery point, we apply the average annual growth observed three years before Covid to simulate a return to normal conditions. For companies registering positive revenue growth during Covid, we consider yearly average growth before Covid with a certain weight to growth during Covid and the last twelve months.

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2. Heico Is More Profitable

  • Textron’s operating margin of 10.1% is much lower than 22.5% for Heico.
  • This compares with 9.4% and 22.2% figures seen in 2019, before the pandemic, respectively.
  • Textron’s free cash flow margin of 11.0% is also lower than 21.2% for Heico.
  • Our Textron Operating Income Comparison and Heico Operating Income Comparison dashboards have more details.
  • Looking at financial risk, Textron has a total debt of $3.8 billion and a market capitalization of $14.7 billion, compared to a $0.3 billion total debt and $19.6 billion market capitalization for Heico, implying that the latter has a better debt position. However, Textron’s 11.8% cash as a percentage of assets is better than 3.4% for Heico, giving it a better cash cushion.

3. The Net of It All

  • We see that Heico has seen better revenue growth, is more profitable, and has a better debt position. On the other hand, Textron has more cash cushion and is available at a comparatively lower valuation.
  • Now, looking at prospects, using P/S as a base, due to high fluctuations in P/E and P/EBIT, we still believe Heico is currently the better choice of the two, despite its higher valuation.
  • The table below summarizes our revenue and return expectations for both companies over the next three years and points to an expected return of 11% for Heico over this period vs. a 0% expected return for Textron, implying that investors are better off buying HEI over TXT, based on Trefis Machine Learning analysis – Textron vs. Heico – which also provides more details on how we arrive at these numbers.

While HEI stock may outperform TXT, it is helpful to see how Textron’s Peers fare on metrics that matter. You will find other valuable comparisons for companies across industries at Peer Comparisons.

Furthermore, the Covid-19 crisis has created many pricing discontinuities which can offer attractive trading opportunities. For example, you’ll be surprised at how counter-intuitive the stock valuation is for Textron vs. Whirlpool.

With higher inflation and the Fed raising interest rates, among other factors, Textron has fallen 7% in the last twelve months. Can it drop more? See how low Textron stock can go by comparing its decline in previous market crashes. Here is a performance summary of all stocks in previous market crashes.

What if you’re looking for a more balanced portfolio instead? Our high-quality portfolio and multi-strategy portfolio have beaten the market consistently since the end of 2016.

Returns Jan 2023
MTD [1]
2023
YTD [1]
2017-23
Total [2]
TXT Return -5% -5% 38%
HEI Return 4% 4% 306%
S&P 500 Return 1% 1% 74%
Trefis Multi-Strategy Portfolio 5% 5% 232%

[1] Month-to-date and year-to-date as of 1/19/2023
[2] Cumulative total returns since the end of 2016

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