Martin earnings per share rose 6.6% in quarter

April 21, 1993|By Bloomberg Business News

BETHESDA -- Martin Marietta Corp. said first-quarter earnings per share rose 6.6 percent, reflecting an increase in operating margins.

The space and defense industry giant reported income before charges for the quarter ended March 31 rose to $76.4 million, or $1.61 a share, from $74.6 million, or $1.51, for the same period in 1992.

"The corporation was able to maintain earnings growth despite an anticipated decline in sales resulting from continuing reductions in U.S. defense expenditures," said Norman R. Augustine, chairman and chief executive officer.

Sales for the quarter decreased to $1.17 billion, from $1.37 billion for the same period in 1992.

Earnings were close to analysts' expectations of $1.62, according to Zacks Investment Research. The company's stock closed at $74.125, up 62.5 cents.

Martin Marietta took a one-time charge of $412 million for the most recent quarter to comply with an accounting change for retiree health benefits attributable to prior years.

The charge resulted in a first-quarter net loss of $335.6 million, or $7.08 a share.

The company said the charge will have no effect on its cash balance or financial strength.

Operating margins for the quarter increased 20 percent to 10.7 percent, reflecting continued improvements in productivity and the benefits of cost-reduction efforts, the company said.

During the first quarter, Martin Marietta, which recently bought General Electric Co.'s aerospace business, received a $300 million contract from Raytheon Corp. to provide Patriot missiles and launchers for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The company also was selected to supply LANTIRN navigation and fire control systems for F-16 fighter planes for Greece, a $100 million order.

The company also won contracts to produce sonar arrays for the U.S. Navy and to produce a propulsion subsystem for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cassini spacecraft.

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