Northrop earnings and sales climbed to records last year Linthicum operation is major contributor

Defense industry

January 22, 1998|By Greg Schneider | Greg Schneider,SUN STAFF

Northrop Grumman Corp. reported record 1997 sales and profits yesterday in what stands to be the company's last annual filing before being absorbed by Lockheed Martin Corp. in the next few months.

Fourth-quarter sales of $2.5 billion, up 4 percent from the $2.4 billion logged during the corresponding period of 1996, pushed the yearly total to $9.2 billion. That was 6 percent more than the $8.6 billion reported the year before, and edged Northrop Grumman closer to its onetime goal of topping $12 billion in sales by 2001.

"I'm sure there are undoubtedly second thoughts" about the pending sale to Lockheed Martin, said Paul Nisbet of JSA Research Inc. With that $11.6 billion deal set to close during this year's fourth quarter, yesterday's bright earnings report was merely "academic," Nisbet added.

Northrop Grumman shares rose $2.06 to $119.95 yesterday.

The company's net income in the fourth quarter was $117 million, or $1.75 per share. That was up from $24 million, or 38 cents per share, for the same portion of 1996, when Northrop Grumman logged $80 million in one-time charges.

Net income in the year was $407 million, or $6.10 a share, up 54 percent from the $264 million, or $4.22 a share, reported for 1996.

The Electronic Sensors & Systems Division, based in Linthicum, continued to drive up sales for the company's electronics segment. With fourth-quarter sales of $1.17 billion and annual sales of $4.1 billion, electronics now plays as big a role in the company as aircraft -- which posted fourth-quarter sales of $1.16 billion and an annual total of $4.4 billion.

Pub Date: 1/22/98

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