Martin Marietta says earnings are down

October 23, 1991|By Timothy J. Mullaney

Martin Marietta Corp. said yesterday that its third-quarter earnings fell slightly, but the report caused few waves on Wall Street, where the company's performance was seen as meeting or exceeding expectations.

The Bethesda-based defense and aerospace company said that earned $100.1 million, or $2 a share, during the three months that ended Sept. 30. That was down from $108.8 million in the year-ago period.

Last year's results included a $12.6 million non-recurring gain. Excluding that gain, per-share earnings were up 4.7 percent, the company said.

"It was exactly in line with my estimate," said Michael Lauer, an analyst who follows Martin Marietta for Kidder, Peabody & Co. in New York. "It's remarkably in line with expectations."

Paul H. Nisbet, an analyst with Prudential Securities Inc., said that Martin's Electronics, Information and Missile Group led the company's performance during the quarter.

The group is a key subcontractor on the Patriot missile program, he said. "The Patriot and the LANTIRN should continue to be strong for a couple of years, at least," he said.

Mr. Nisbet said there is strong foreign interest in ordering Patriot missiles because of their performance during the Persian Gulf war.

LANTIRN is a target detection system that helps combat pilots find targets on the ground at night.

In a statement, Martin Marietta said that the division also had landed a $300 million contract from Boeing Corp. during the quarter to complete development of an advanced electronic optics system for the Army's new Comanche helicopter.

Martin Marietta said that the Comanche program could eventually bring the company $3 billion in revenue.

Mr. Nisbet said the company's aggregates business, which sells such products as stone and gravel, saw its earnings fall, compared with last year's. The recession affects that business more than it affects the military-oriented parts of the company, he said.

Mr. Nisbet said that he had expected Martin to earn about $1.90 a share for the quarter, so the actual results were a pleasant, if modest surprise. He now expects the company, which has earned $5.41 a share during the first nine months of 1991, to

bring the total to $7.10 a share by Dec. 31.

Three months ended 9/30/91

.. .. .. .. .. Revenue.. .. .. ..Net.. .. .. .. Share

'91.. .. 1,436,800,000.. ..100,100,000.. .. ..2.00

'90.. .. ..1,286,600,000.. ..108,800,000.. .. ..2.16

% change.. .. . +11.7.. .. .. .. 8.0.. .. .. .. ..7.4

Nine months ended 9/30/91

.. .. .. .. .. Revenue.. .. .. ..Net.. .. .. . Share

'91.. .. .. 4,405,000,000 .. 269,100,000.. .. 5.41

.. .. 4,006,600,000.. 270,400,000.. .. 5.33

% change.. .. .. +10.0.. .. .. .. 0.5.. .. .. . +1.5

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