Lockheed Martin posts 1st-period profit

April 26, 1995|By David Conn | David Conn,Sun Staff Writer

Ending its first quarter as a combined company and promising an "aggressive" cost-cutting program, Lockheed Martin Corp. yesterday reported a slight gain in first-quarter earnings.

The Bethesda-based defense contractor said net income was $137 million, or 62 cents a share, in the first quarter.

Excluding various one-time charges, operating earnings rose 3 percent to $247 million, or $1.23 a share, compared with $239 million, or $1.01 a share, assuming the companies were combined a year ago.

The former Martin Marietta Corp. and Lockheed Corp. completed their $10 billion merger last month to create the world's largest defense company, with about $23.5 billion in annual sales and about 175,000 workers.

Yesterday, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel M. Tellep, who chaired Lockheed, said the first-quarter performance "demonstrates the underlying financial capability we envisioned in merging two strong companies like Lockheed and Martin Marietta."

He promised that "reduction of excess capacity and aggressive elimination of duplication will further reduce our business costs and improve our potential for future earnings growth."

The company said it will announce its planned consolidations by June 30, a process that is expected to hit some of the 4,400 employees in Maryland.

Lockheed Martin, which now controls as much as 20 percent of U.S. defense spending, reported sales rose 12 percent during the quarter to $5.6 billion, from $5.0 billion a year ago.

The earnings "were generally good, a little better than my forecast," said CS First Boston analyst Peter Aseritis. "But, obviously, for the first quarter they had [together], you didn't know how to predict earnings" accurately.

Despite surpassing expectations, the company's stock fell $1.50 a share to $57.50 yesterday.

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