Lockheed Profit Up 6 Percent

From the Associated Press

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin said its first-quarter earning rose 6 percent as higher sales of space equipment, missiles and other combat tools offset a dip in fighter jet sales.
Lockheed, the world's largest defense supplier, said it earned $730 million ($1.75 per share), up from $690 million ($1.60) in the first quarter of 2007. Revenue was $9.98 billion, up from $9.27 billion.
The company also raised its outlook for 2008 by 10 cents, saying it expects to earn $7.15 to $7.35 for the year on revenue of $41.8 billion to $42.8 billion. Much of the improvement is expected to come in the company's space division.
The company's aeronautics division, its largest by revenue, saw sales drop slightly to $2.8 billion as it continues to transition from selling older fighters like the F-16 to new models such as the F-35 and F-22.
But Lockheed's three other business units all posted sales gains, including an 11 percent increase to $2.78 billion in the electronic systems division that makes missiles. Space systems, maker of satellites and other space tools, was up 5 percent to $1.88 billion while information systems and global services rose 17 percent to $2.5 billion.
Lockheed Chief Financial Officer Bruce Tanner said in an interview that the only effect the credit squeeze had on the company is that lower interest rates have reduced the money Lockheed makes on its cash holdings of about $3 billion.
"One of the reasons that I could only increase the earnings (forecast) a dime this quarter is that the cash I've got sitting on the balance sheet is making less interest," he said.

By Terri Rupar  |  April 22, 2008; 10:10 AM ET  | Category:  Aerospace & Defense
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