Lockheed Martin 1Q profit rises, warns on sales

Lockheed Martin posts 14 pct increase in 1st-qtr profit, but warns cuts will hurt 2013 sales

Associated Press

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday its first-quarter net income rose 14 percent, beating Wall Street predictions, but warned that its results for the rest of the year could take a hit as a result of federal budget cuts.

The Bethesda, Md.-based aerospace and defense contractor said the cuts, known as sequestration, could reduce its 2013 sales by about $825 million. As a result, the company said it now expects its sales for the year to come in near the low end of its previously projected range.

For the three months ended March 31, Lockheed Martin earned $761 million, or $2.33 per share, up from $668 million, or $2.03 per share, in the 2012 first quarter. Excluding one-time items, the company said its adjusted profit was $2.48 per share for the recent quarter.

Revenue slipped 2 percent to $11.07 billion from $11.29 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $2.04 per share on $10.31 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

Lockheed said sales rose 13 percent to $1.99 billion at its missiles and fire control business due to higher demand from tactical missile programs, while space systems sales increased 4 percent to $1.96 billion, helped by the timing of orders from strategic and defensive missile programs, along with higher demand from government satellite programs.

But those gains were offset by a 14 percent drop in sales at the company's aeronautics business to $3.19 billion, mainly as a result of lower demand for F-16 aircraft.

The company backed its 2013 profit prediction of between $8.80 and $9.10 per share, but said it expects its sales total to come in at the low end of its previous range of $44.5 billion to $46 billion.

Analysts were forecasting earnings of $8.92 per share on $45.12 billion in revenue.

Lockheed Martin shares rose $1.86, or 2 percent, to $97.71 in morning trading. The stock hit $99.49, its highest point since July 2008, shortly after the open.

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