January 31, 2008 / 1:15 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-Alliant Tech profit rises on artillery, space

(Adds analyst estimate, forecast)

NEW YORK, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Alliant Techsystems Inc ATK.N said on Thursday quarterly profit rose 14 percent, helped by strong sales of its small artillery and rocket-launch equipment.

The company, which makes bullets for the U.S. military and rocket motors for NASA, reported fiscal third-quarter net profit of $58.3 million, or $1.65 per share, compared with $51.2 million, or $1.53 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $1.05 billion, boosted by sales of defense electronics, the Ares I Attitude Control Motor, and satellite subsystems, which led to 22 percent growth at its Mission Systems division.

Wall Street analyst, on average, were expecting the company to post earnings of $1.59 per share on revenue of $1.03 billion.

Alliant Tech, which earlier this month agreed to buy space radar and satellite imaging units from Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd MDA.TO for $1.325 billion, raised its forecast for fiscal 2008 earnings by 5 cents per share to a range of $6.25 to $6.35 per share.

It still expects fiscal 2008 revenue of more than $4.1 billion.

Alliant Tech for the first time forecast fiscal 2009 earnings, predicting profit in a range of $7.10 to $7.30 per share. The company expects revenue of about $4.5 billion.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting the company to earn $6.34 in fiscal 2008 and $7.42 in fiscal 2009, according to Reuters Estimates.

The 2008 and 2009 forecasts don’t include revenue or earnings from its planned acquisition of MDA’s space businesses, which is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

Alliant Tech said it expects the MDA acquisition to be neutral to earnings during fiscal 2009. (Reporting by Bill Rigby; editing by John Wallace and Dave Zimmerman)

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