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May 2 (Reuters) - Barnes Group Inc (B.N), an aerospace and industrial components maker, posted better-than-expected first-quarter results, driven mainly by strong demand in its aerospace segment, and raised its 2008 earnings outlook, sending its shares up as much as 14 percent.
Barnes, which supplies engine nozzles to Boeing's (BA.N) 787 Dreamliner aircraft through General Electric Co (GE.N), said sales at its aerospace segment rose 23 percent, boosted by a 26 percent growth in aftermarket sales.
However, total backlog at the segment fell about $7 million to $465.6 million at the end of the first quarter, including adjustments related to 787 delays and raw materials.
The current backlog does not reflect the nearly 1,000 Boeing 787 aircraft scheduled for delivery over the next eight years, CEO Gregory Milzcik said in a conference call.
Milzcik said the company had expected the Dreamliner program to be delayed by at least a year. Boeing's 787 program is now running about 15 months late after three major delays.
"In some ways there is a smoothing of the arduous schedule that benefits us because we have a tremendous unseen backlog and it is not reflected in the numbers that you see," Milzcik added.
For the full year, Barnes now expects earnings of $2.30 to $2.39 a share, up from its prior view of $2.20 to $2.30 a share.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $2.24 a share, before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.
Barnes shares were up $2.85 at $29.30 in late trade on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a high of $30.03 earlier in the session.
The Bristol, Connecticut-based company earned $33.4 million, or 60 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with $27.7 million, or 50 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
The results included a transaction loss of 1 cent a share related to the sale of Spectrum Plastics Molding Resources, a business of its industrial unit, the company said in a statement. Sales rose 8 percent to $388.6 million, helped by demand in its international industrial and aerospace manufacturing and aftermarket businesses.
Analysts on average expected earnings of 53 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $380.6 million.
Sales at Barnes Industrial, whose products include retention rings, nitrogen gas products and precision valves, were up about 4 percent.
Strong growth from Barnes Industrial's businesses in Asia and Europe are providing balance within the group as North American businesses have seen pressure in transportation and consumer home products end markets, CEO Milzcik said in the call.
At the end of first quarter, about 59 percent of Barnes Industrial sales were from outside North America, he added. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Amitha Rajan, Himani Sarkar)