Lockheed Martin 3rd-qtr profit up, boost guidance

Lockheed Martin posts 4 percent increase in 3rd-quarter profit, raises 2012 profit prediction

Associated Press

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income rose 4 percent, as lower pension-related costs helped offset a drop in revenue.

The results beat Wall Street predictions and the Bethesda, Md.-based aerospace and defense contractor also raised its full-year profit and revenue predictions.

Lockheed Martin earned $727 million, or $2.21 per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. That compared with net income of $700 million, or $2.10 per share, in the same quarter last year.

The per-share results got a boost of 3 cents in the recent quarter from a 2 percent drop in the number of outstanding shares since last year.

Excluding $15 million in charges related to job cuts at its electronic business, the company posted an adjusted profit of $2.26 per share.

Revenue fell 2 percent to $11.87 billion from $12.12 billion last year.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.84 per share on $11.17 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Lockheed said pension-related costs reduced the recent quarter's profit by an additional 39 cents per share, compared with 43 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Aeronautics sales fell 7 percent to $3.7 billion on lower sales of military aircraft, while sales of electronics systems rose 4 percent to $3.82 billion, on higher sales volumes of warfare, radar and missile defense systems.

Its information systems business sales slipped 1 percent to $2.29 billion, while space systems revenue dropped 5 percent to $2.06 billion.

The company boosted its full-year profit prediction to a range of $8.20 to $8.40 per share, up from its previous prediction of $7.90 to $8.10 per share. Analysts, on average, expect a profit of $8.10 per share, with estimates ranging from $7.96 to $8.30.

Lockheed also raised the lower end of its 2012 revenue prediction by $500 million, to a range of $45.5 billion to $46.5 billion. Analysts expect $45.69 billion, on average, with estimates ranging from $45.3 billion to $46.19 billion.

Lockheed shares rose $2.72, or 3 percent, to $94.67 in midday trading.

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