Lockheed to split stock 2 for 1 Dec. 31 Aerospace

October 23, 1998|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

Lockheed Martin Corp. yesterday announced a 2-for-1 stock split and a 10 percent increase in its quarterly dividend.

Stockholders of record on Dec. 1 will receive one additional share for each share of common stock held, the Bethesda-based defense and aerospace company said. The new shares will be issued Dec. 31.

The dividend increase, from 40 cents to 44 cents, will also be payable on Dec. 31.

The increase "indicates the company's strong belief in the positive nature of its cash flow, and they're giving it back to investors," said Roger R. Threlfall, an analyst at J. P. Morgan Securities.

Lockheed shares, which have more than doubled since its March 1995 merger with Martin Marietta Corp., rose $2.9375 yesterday to $109.50.

Last month Lockheed agreed to buy satellite communications company Comsat Corp., also based in Bethesda, in a complex two-phase deal. It first will offer to buy up to 49 percent of Comsat's stock for about $1.3 billion in cash, or $44.50 a share. Lockheed would then offer to swap one of its shares for every two remaining shares of Comsat stock, an exchange valued at $1.45 billion on Lockheed's share price yesterday.

The split will change the exchange ratio to 1 for 1.

Meanwhile, in a long-anticipated move, Lockheed's chief financial officer, Marcus C. Bennett, 62, said yesterday he will retire on Jan. 31. He will be replaced by Philip J. Duke, Lockheed's vice president of finance. Bennett will remain on the board of directors.

"Phil is very competent, we're very confident that Phil will do a very good job, as good as Marc, and Marc's done a good job," Threlfall said.

Pub Date: 10/23/98

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