Lockheed earnings jump amid a 9% drop in sales Results are 'a little better than expected'

April 25, 1996|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Lockheed Martin Corp. reported yesterday that first-quarter earnings nearly doubled despite a decline in sales.

Net income was $272 million, or $1.22 a share, compared with $137 million, or 62 cents a share, in the corresponding period a year ago.

Last year's figures reflected a pretax charge of $165 million, equal to 50 cents a share, associated with the merger of Lockheed Corp. and Bethesda-based Martin Marietta Corp. to form the world's largest defense and aerospace company.

Not counting that one-time expense, company profits for the first quarter rose by 10 percent.

Sales for the quarter dropped to $5.1 billion from $5.6 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The decline was attributed primarily to a drop-off in production of the F-16 and the P-3 aircraft used to detect and track submarines. The company said deliveries of the F-16 Falcon are expected to increase during the rest of 1996 and double next year.

The results "were a little better than expected," said Paul H. Nisbit, president of JBA Research Inc. "We were looking at $1.15 [a share] and the street was expecting $1.17. They came in at $1.22. Most of the aerospace companies are doing a little better than expected because of improving market conditions."

Norman R. Augustine, president and chief executive, said that, while there was a dip in the sales, the company booked nearly $7 billion in new and follow-on business during the quarter.

He attributed the new business to the company's improved competitiveness and reduced cost. Earlier this week, Mr. Augustine said the merger of Lockheed and Martin resulted in an annual savings of $1.8 billion a year to the federal government.

The Aeronautics sector, which includes the company's Middle River operations, accounted for much of the decline in first quarter sales, or 27 percent to $1.3 billion.

The company did not give results of its Aero and Naval Systems division in Baltimore County, which has struggled in recent years to post a profit. For the sector as a whole, the company said earnings before taxes was $108 million, off 23 percent.

Pub Date: 4/25/96

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