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Defense News: General Dynamics Corporation (GD), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC), The Boeing Company (BA)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL), Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB)

General Dynamics Quarterly Profit Rises as Sales Decline (BusinessWeek)
General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD), the maker of Abrams tanks and Gulfstream business jets, rose the most in four years after beating analysts’ estimates for first-quarter profit. Net income from continuing operations increased 1.2 percent to $571 million, or $1.62 a share, compared with $564 million, or $1.57 a share, a year earlier, the Falls Church, Virginia- based company said today in a statement. Analysts forecast (GD) $1.50 a share, the average of 19 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell 2.3 percent to $7.4 billion.

General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD)

General Dynamics posts about 1 pct increase in 1st-qtr net income on lower costs (WashingtonPost)
General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) said Wednesday its first-quarter net income edged up about 1 percent, as lower operating costs offset a slight decrease in revenue. The aerospace and defense company earned $571 million, or $1.62 per share, up $564 million, or $1.57 per share, from the same quarter the year before. A reduction in the number of outstanding shares from last year provided a 3-cent boost to the recent quarter’s per-share results. Revenue fell 2 percent to $7.4 billion from $7.58 billion. The profit easily beat Wall Street predictions, while the revenue fell short. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.50 per share on $7.54 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Northrop to Lockheed Profits Unscathed by Budget Cuts (Bloomberg)
Three top weapons makers said across-the-board U.S. budget cuts that began March 1 won’t hurt their profits for the year. General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) left their full-year outlooks unchanged today as they reported first- quarter net income that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), the No. 1 defense contractor, reported much of the same yesterday. The companies’ quarterly results and 2013 outlooks clash with dire predictions from industry officials, who last year used words such as “devastating” and “Armageddon” to describe the effects of the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts known as sequestration.

General Dynamics Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Deutsche Bank (GD) (DailyPolitical)
General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD)‘s stock had its “buy” rating restated by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, Analyst Ratings Network reports. They currently have a $78.00 price target on the stock. Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at TheStreet reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of General Dynamics in a research note to investors on Tuesday. Separately, analysts at Barclays Capital reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) in a research note to investors on Monday, April 15th. They now have a $87.00 price target on the stock.

Northrop Grumman Receives Work Worth $35.7M (SDBJ)
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) received a $35.7 million contract modification for Global Hawk engineering and manufacturing development, the U.S. Defense Department announced recently. The Global Hawk is the company’s high-altitude, robotic spy aircraft. The U.S. Air Force, which operates the fleet, says the aircraft can stay aloft for more than 28 hours. The cumulative value of the multiyear contract is slightly less than $2.3 billion. Work will be performed in San Diego and is expected to be completed by January 2017. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio awarded the contract.

Northrop Grumman posts 3 pct drop in 1st-qtr demand, but beats Wall Street predictions (WashingtonPost)
Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)’s first-quarter net income fell 3 percent as government defense spending cuts reduced sales at some of its businesses. The company, based in Falls Church, Va., said Wednesday that it earned $489 million, or $2.03 per share, down from $506 million, or $1.96 per share, in the same quarter the year before. The recent quarter’s results are based on 241 million outstanding shares, while last year’s are based on 258 million. Excluding one-time items, the company posted an adjusted profit of $1.94 per share for the recent quarter. Revenue edged down 1.5 percent to $6.1 billion from $6.2 billion.

Major contractors report little damage from sequestration (WashingtonPost)
Defense contractors warned the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration would cause layoffs and facility closures, but nearly two months in, the biggest companies are reporting only a slight drop in sales. Falls Church-based contracting giant General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) saw its profit hit $571 million in the first quarter of the year, up 1.2 percent from the same period last year. Revenue dropped 2.3 percent to $7.4 billion. …At neighboring contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), profit and sales were essentially flat. The company reported profit of $489 million, down just over 3 percent from the same period a year ago. Sales hit $6.1 billion, down slightly from the first three months of 2012.

Northrop Receives Hawkeye Software Sustainment Funds (Afcea)
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded a $23,000,000 firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously issued basic order agreement for Full Rate Production Lot 1 software sustainment support of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. This delivery order provides all aspects of software management support, including the update and maintenance through the life cycle support and to all the software elements of the weapon system, subsystem and support element levels of the aircraft software. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

FAA formally approves Boeing 787 battery fix (ET)
The US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday filed formal approval of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)‘s 787 battery fix that will clear the way for the troubled aircraft to fly again. The FAA’s new airworthiness directive for the 787 requires the installation of new and auxiliary power unit batteries and their respective chargers, as well as battery enclosures and ducts. “Once the aircraft are in compliance with the AD, they can return to service,” an FAA spokesman said in an email. The FAA filing in the Federal Register is set to take effect Friday. In January the FAA grounded all 787s in service after two incidents on aircraft already in commercial service involving the batteries.

LOT Polish Airlines to Resume Dreamliner Flights in June (WSJ)
LOT Polish Airlines on Thursday resumed ticket sales for flights operated using The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) +1.45% 787 Dreamliner jet after more than three months of a global grounding. The only European airline to have taken delivery of Boeing’s innovative jet, LOT had two Dreamliners in service, with one midair, when in January the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered a grounding after incidents involving the airplane’s batteries. European regulators this week approved Boeing’s proposal to modify the lithium-ion batteries on the jet.

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