Lockheed Martin Corp. raise profit outlook for 2014

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Lockheed Martin Corp. reported on Tuesday that it increased its earnings guidance for this year and continued to provide cash to shareholders as the company increased its buybacks to $1.1bn in the first quarter.

Restructuring efforts by Lockheed led to 23 percent rise in first-quarter profit from the previous year, helped by higher margins at four of its five units.

The world’s largest defense contractor has a record order backlog from a high-demand portfolio of missile-defense systems and fighter jets that has insulated the U.S. company from domestic and European military budget cuts.

In the quarter ended March 31, profit climbed to $933mn from $761mn in the previous year, with per-share earnings rising to $2.87 from $2.33, beating Wall Street’s forecast. Sales fell almost 4 percent to $10.65bn in the latest period.

Lockheed predicts sales for his year to be flat, but increased the midpoint of its profit guidance by 2.4 percent from the outlook released in January, with forecast-beating $10.50 per share to $10.80 per share.

The company also increased guidance for operating cash flow and operating profit, while keeping the outlook for sales and orders the same.

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