FORT COLLINS — Woodward Inc. reported first-quarter net earnings of $27.4 million, a more than $1 million drop compared to the same quarter of 2012.

The drop in Woodward's profit translated to earnings per share of 39 cents in the first quarter vs. 40 cents per share in previous first quarter, the Fort Collins-based aerospace and energy company said in an earnings statement.

Woodward posted sales of $408.3 million during the first quarter vs. $407.9 million the same time last fiscal year.

First-quarter cash flow totaled $10.1 million, Woodward said.

"Sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were affected by both normal seasonal ordering patterns and increased fiscal and economic volatility," CEO Tom Gendron said in a statement. "While global fiscal challenges during the coming year may have a substantial impact on 2013, we continue to expect improved results for the remainder of the year."

The company blamed its lower earnings on investments in aerospace manufacturing, as well as acquisition costs.

First-quarter aerospace sales rose to $211.4 million, a 9 percent increase from the previous first quarter. The sales increase stemmed from commercial original equipment manufacturing and military aftermarket sales.

Aerospace earnings totaled $31.6 million, a 17 percent gain.

Energy sales fell to $197 million, an 8 percent decrease. Strong sales of compressed natural gas systems were offset by a significant decrease in wind-turbine converter sales in North America and softness in other engine and industrial turbine systems sales, Woodward said.

Energy earnings fell to $23.9 million vs. $26.7 million last first quarter.

The company reported non-segment expenses of $10.6 million coming mostly from its purchase of a GE Aviation Systems business in Duarte, Calif.

Despite the first-quarter decline, Woodward estimated increased 2013 sales of $1.9 billion to $2 billion, and earnings per share between $2.22 and $2.42.

Woodward shares fell 1.4 percent Tuesday to close at $39.18.