Published On: Tue, Apr 23rd, 2019

Lockheed Martin raises 2019 profit forecast, shares jump

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Lockheed Martin is seen at Euronaval, the world naval defence exhibition in Le Bourget near Paris
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Lockheed Martin is seen at Euronaval, the world naval defence exhibition in Le Bourget near Paris, France, October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

April 23, 2019

(Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp reported a 47 percent jump in quarterly profit on Tuesday and raised its profit forecast for the year, helped by strong demand for its missiles and fighter jets, sending its shares up more than 6 percent in pre-market trading.

The Pentagon’s top weapons supplier , which makes the stealthy F-35 jet, now expects full-year profit to range between $20.05 per share and $20.35 per share, compared with its previous forecast of $19.15 to $19.45.

U.S. weapons makers have been expected to benefit from stronger global demand for fighter jets and munitions and higher U.S. defense budgets in fiscal 2020 as they announce first quarter earnings this week.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company said its earnings rose to $1.70 billion, or $5.99 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $1.16 billion, or $4.02 per share, a year earlier. That was partly helped by a $75 million dollar boost from additional tax deductions on foreign military sales, the company said.

Excluding that unexpected gain, Lockheed reported $5.73 per share profit, well ahead of the $4.34 per share that Wall Street had expected, on average, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The United States is considering expanding sales of Lockheed-made F-35 fighter jets to five new nations including Romania, Greece and Poland as European allies bulk up their defenses in the face of a strengthening Russia, a Pentagon official told Congress in early April.

Net sales for the quarter rose 23 percent to $14.34 billion.

The company’s sales backlog grew to $133.5 billion, up 3 billion over the quarter.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington D.C. and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Bill Rigby)



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