May 8, 2008 / 11:46 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Alliant Tech profit rises on arms, rocket sales

(Adds outlook, Wall Street estimates)

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - Alliant Techsystems Inc ATK.N said on Thursday quarterly profit rose 19 percent, helped by strong sales of its artillery and rocket engines.

The company, which is the largest maker of bullets and small ammunition for the U.S. armed forces and also makes rocket motors for NASA, reported a profit of $64.4 million, or $1.83 per share, for the fourth quarter ended March 31, compared with $54.1 million, or $1.57 per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

That beat Wall Street’s average forecast of $1.77 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue for the quarter rose 12 percent to $1.1 billion, in line with analyst estimates, on the back of higher sales in each of its three main divisions, making artillery, rocket launch equipment and advanced missiles.

Alliant Tech agreed in January to buy the space radar and satellite imaging units of Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd MDA.TO for $1.3 billion. Canada’s government, which has objected to the deal on national security grounds, is expected to officially block the deal later on Thursday.

If the transaction did not close, Alliant Tech said it could incur a charge for deal-related expenses that could be applied to the fourth quarter, but it did not give estimates of the cost.

The company did raise its forecast for earnings per share for fiscal 2009 to a range of $7.15 to $7.35, up from its previous forecast of $7.10 to $7.30. Analysts are expecting $7.37 per share, on average. (Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Gerald E. McCormick)

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