Lockheed Martin misses profit estimates but earnings rise
Shares dip after Lockheed says pandemic hit F-35 deliveries
Bengaluru — Lockheed Martin on Tuesday missed profit estimates for the first time in the past eight quarters as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted deliveries of the US weapons maker's F-35 jets and caused supplier delays.
Shares of the company were down about 2.3% after it said fourth-quarter deliveries of its F-35 jets fell to 42 from 51 a year earlier.
Democrats in Congress have called for cuts in military spending amid the global health crisis, though analysts have said sudden changes are unlikely in an industry that has supported countless jobs during the recession.
Analysts, however, were optimistic about Lockheed's prospects, citing the company's strong balance sheet and demand for its offerings.
Lockheed's move to raise its full-year cash from operations outlook to at least $8.30bn from a prior $8.1bn, along with a robust backlog, shows the defence sector remains a resilient business, an analyst from Vertical Research Partners said.
Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed signed deals with United Arab Emirates, Japan and Taiwan in the past quarter, while Israel said earlier in January it was looking to expand its squadron of stealth F-35 fighter jets.
“The missiles business remained solid, aided by global defence spending,” Jeff Windau, an analyst at Edward Jones, said in an e-mail.
Lockheed's missiles and fire control unit, which makes missile defences such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) saw fourth-quarter sales increase $97m, or 4%, over the same period a year earlier despite headwinds from the ongoing pandemic.
Lockheed now expects 2021 revenue between $67.10bn to $68.50bn, in line with analysts' expectation of revenue of about $68.04bn, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Full-year earnings for 2021 are expected to be in the range of $26 to $26.30 per share, above analysts' average expectation of $26.13 per share.
Net earnings rose to $1.79bn, or $6.38 per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31, from $1.5bn, or $5.29 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected net earnings of $6.41 per share.
Net sales rose 7.3% to $17.03bn, above estimates of $16.92bn. Reuters
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