Lockheed Martin raises forecast as quarterly sales beat
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...