Lockheed Martin outpaced third-quarter expectations, but company profit slid 2 percent to $865 million and its space division proved to be a laggard among five business units.
A Wall Street consensus forecast had projected Lockheed to post quarterly earnings of $2.72 a share and three-month revenue of $11.14 billion.
Lockheed’s space systems unit saw revenue dip 5 percent to $1.93 billion, with operating profit off 17 percent at $232 million.
By contrast, the company’s aeronautics division managed a 4 percent sales boost to $3.92 billion, while missiles and mission systems posted revenue increases of 2 percent (to $1.94 billion) and 1 percent (to $1.80 billion), respectively. Sales slid 4 percent in its information systems unit, to $1.87 billion.
In a conference call with analysts, officials declined to comment on the likelihood of a selloff of its stake in United Launch Alliance, a rockets and launch service joint venture with Boeing. Last month, Boeing said that it had rejected a $2 billion takeover bid by Aerojet Rocketdyne amid reports that Lockheed was less opposed to a ULA sale and speculation of a possible sweetened bid in coming weeks.
In releasing its financial results Oct. 20, Lockheed said it would increase its quarterly dividend by 15 cents to $1.65 per share, payable Dec. 24 to stockholders of record on Dec. 1.
“Our strong operating results this quarter are a reflection of our corporate-wide focus on program execution and delivery of value to customers and shareholders,” Lockheed chairman and CEO Marillyn Hewson said. “As we look ahead to 2016, we will remain focused on performing with excellence and providing affordable and innovative solutions for our customers, while strategically positioning our business portfolio on the best path to long-term growth and value for the corporation.”
Lockheed shares (LMT: NYSE) dipped in early trading after the results were announced, amid market disappointment over 2016 guidance. Lockheed said space systems sales may be a bit higher than previously projected, but revenue forecasts were less upbeat for some other units and the company expects net sales to be flat overall next year.
The stock, which has been trading toward the upper-end of a 52-week range of $166.28-$216.27, closed off $1.91, or .91 percent, at $208.73.