PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Textron Inc. reported Wednesday that it returned to profitability in the fourth quarter on higher sales of Bell helicopters and unmanned drones, weapons and sensors.

But the results fell short of Wall Street expectations, and the company's shares slipped 8 cents to $27 in trading before the market opened.

Textron reported fourth-quarter net income of $148 million, or 51 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 29. It lost $19 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier due to employee severance costs and a write-down of intangible assets.

Excluding income from discontinued operations, Textron earned 50 cents per share.

Revenue for the latest quarter grew 3.3 percent to $3.36 billion from $3.25 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected adjusted earnings of 56 cents per share on revenue of $3.4 billion, according to data provider FactSet.

The fourth-quarter results included an after-tax charge of $27 million, or 6 cents per share, at the Cessna aircraft unit for an unfavorable arbitration award.

Revenue from the Bell helicopter unit rose $139 million to $1.15 billion in the quarter versus a year ago.

Cessna revenue, however, fell $110 million to $901 million because fewer jets were delivered. The company delivered 53 Citation jets in the compared with 67 a year earlier.

Revenue at Textron systems increased $58 million to $571 million, while industrial revenue fell $2 million to $706 million.

For the full year, Textron reported net income of $589 million, or $2 per share, on revenue of $12.24 billion. That's up from $242 million, or 79 cents per share, on revenue of $11.28 billion for 2011.

Textron predicted 2013 revenue would rise 6 percent to $12.9 billion, with earnings per share from continuing operations in a range of $2.10 to $2.30 per share. Analysts expect earnings of $2.24 this year on revenue of $12.86 billion.

The Providence, R.I.-based company also said its board on Tuesday authorized the repurchase of 25 million shares to offset the impact of dilution from stock based compensation and to raise capital. During the fourth quarter, the company bought back 11.1 million shares.