Northrop Grumman Earnings In Line With Expectations

Northrop Grumman, one of the Washington region's largest private sector employers, said its profit during the fourth quarter remained essentially flat compared with the corresponding period last year. (See the company's news release.)

The Los Angeles-based defense contractor said it earned $454 million, or $1.31 a share, in the period ended Dec. 31, up a fraction from $453 million, or $1.28, a year earlier. The fourth-quarter of 2006 included a one-time pre-tax gain of $111 million on the sale of a portion of Northrop's TRW Automotive unit. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected earnings of $1.31 a share.

Northrop said its revenue rose about 10 percent, to $8.82 billion, exceeding Wall Street's expectations for $8.44 billion in sales.

The company's sales projection of $33 billion for 2008 was slightly lower than the $33.3 billion that analysts had been expecting. In early afternoon trading, the company's shares were down 60 cents, to $77.72.

Northrop employs nearly 20,000 people throughout the D.C. area, primarily in its information and services division. Revenue in information and services rose by 11 percent during the fourth quarter, to $3.3 billion. For the year, sales were up 11 percent from 2006, to $12.59 billion.

The information and services division has three business units -- mission systems, information technology, and technical services -- headquartered in Northern Virginia. Here's a look at how those segments fared during the quarter and 2007.

The missions systems unit, based in Reston, reported an 11 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue to $1.57 billion. Northrop said the gains reflected additional sales generated from last year's acquisition of Essex, a Columbia-based firm that specializes in classified technology used by intelligence agencies. For the year, missions systems revenue was up 8 percent, to $5.93 billion.

Sales in its McLean-based information technology unit rose 16 percent to $1.2 billion for the quarter, and 16 percent to $4.49 billion for the year. The technical services unit, which operates out of Herndon, said quarterly sales rose 3 percent to $533 million, while sales for the year rose 17 percent to $2.18 billion.

Meanwhile, Northrop's Linthicum-based electronics division said its sales were up 8 percent, to $1.93 billion for the quarter, and up 6 percent to $6.91 billion for the year.

The company said it recorded $8.7 billion in new business awards, led by key contracts won by the missions systems unit.

By Mike Shepard  |  January 24, 2008; 1:21 PM ET  | Category:  Aerospace & Defense
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