Outperformance in the commercial aftermarket likely will see Goodrich’s results for the first quarter exceed analysts’ expectations.

Wedbush Securities on April 19 upgraded Goodrich shares to “outperform” from “neutral” and raised its price target to $100 from $92, ahead of the company’s quarterly report scheduled for April 21.

Oil price spikes in February led to stock underperformance for Goodrich, and through April 18, the company’s stock has been down 4.4%. However, Wedbush Securities analyst Kenneth Herbert says that his firm believes the “psychological barrier for the airlines” is $125/barrel oil. Capacity control and better incremental cost management have helped the airlines position themselves better than in prior cycles, and Herbert says much of 2010’s deferred maintenance is being addressed, with engine programs and modifications programs, especially interiors, leading the way.

Even in the face of daunting oil prices, Herbert believes Goodrich’s 2011 aftermarket growth will be in the 13% range, up from prior company guidance that put it at 7-9%. The attention to deferred maintenance is good news for companies like Goodrich, which counts on the commercial aftermarket for upward of 60% of its total operating profits. As Herbert puts it, the commercial aftermarket is “the key swing factor” for Goodrich.

On the commercial side, Wedbush sees Goodrich benefitting from cost-reduction and Lean initiatives as well as acquisitions. Its April 1 announcement that it is buying helicopter flight controls-maker Microtecnica boosted performance recently, but earlier buys will contribute to the aftermarket growth Wedbush sees coming. Goodrich purchased DeCrane Holdings’ interiors business last September. Herbert says it’s a little early to see the impact of that move, but “I like that acquisition.” It positions Goodrich to take advantage of the rebound in the interiors market and to expand its OEM exposure.

In defense, Goodrich’s ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) focus may limit its ability to outgrow the broader defense market, say Wedbush analysts.

Herbert says company numbers across the board should look pretty good compared to expectations, and he notes that companies that have better parts exposure will see better outperformance. Additionally, “the extent to which you start to hear about restocking will benefit” companies like Heico, AAR Corp., Pratt & Whitney, Transdigm and Goodrich—especially those with significant engine business.