July 20, 2015 / 11:49 AM / in 2 years

Lockheed posts profit above estimate, could sell some businesses

Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin Corp Marillyn Hewson speaks to journalists at a news conference at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, southern England July 14, 2014. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), the Pentagon’s largest arms supplier, reported a better-than-expected 4.5 percent rise in quarterly profit and said it could spin off or sell its government IT and technical services businesses.

The company also said on Monday it would buy Black Hawk helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft from United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) for $9 billion.

The strategic review of its businesses represents about $6 billion in expected 2015 sales and 17,000 employees, Lockheed said.

The company, which had 112,000 employees as of Dec. 31, said it expects to complete the review in 2015.

Lockheed, which reported quarterly results a day earlier than scheduled to coincide with the announcement of the Sikorsky acquisition, raised its earnings per share forecast for 2015 to $11.00-$11.30 from $10.85-$11.15.

U.S. weapons makers have been increasing sales to international markets to offset weak government spending at home.

Lockheed said in February foreign sales would account for about 25 percent of overall revenue in the next few years, compared with 20 percent in 2014.

The company’s net income rose to $929 million, or $2.94 per share, in the second quarter ended June 28, from $889 million, or $2.76 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales increased 3 percent to $11.64 billion.

Analysts on average expected earnings of $2.66 per share, on revenue of $10.99 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Lockheed’s shares were up 1.4 percent at $204 in premarket trading. Up to Friday’s close of $201.18, the stock had risen 24 percent in the past 12 months.

Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das

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