Lockheed Martin raises forecast as quarterly sales beat

Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:07am EDT
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By Ankit Ajmera

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote), the Pentagon's No. 1 weapons supplier, reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and lifted its 2016 revenue and profit forecasts for the second time, buoyed by increased deliveries of its F-35 fighter jets.

The company's shares — already up 18 percent this year — soared to a record high of $261.37 in early trading on Tuesday.

The results from the world's largest defense contractor is often seen as a bellwether for the U.S. defense sector. Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N: Quote) and Raytheon Co (RTN.N: Quote) are due to report quarterly results next week.

Lockheed is also benefiting from its $9 billion acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft last year from United Technologies Corp (UTX.N: Quote).

Lockheed raised its 2016 profit forecast to $12.15–$12.45 per share from $11.50-$11.80.

The company also said it now expected full-year sales of $50.0 billion-$51.5 billion, up from $49.6 billion-$51.1 billion it previously estimated.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $11.84 per share and revenue of $50.46 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Lockheed said sales in its aeronautics business, the company's biggest, rose 6 percent in the three months ended June 26 as it delivered 14 F-35 jets, compared with 11 a year earlier.   Continued...

A sign at the new Lockheed Martin Manufacturing Centre of Excellence is seen at the company's headquarters in Ampthill near Bedford, Britain June 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls