Aerospace veteran Lockheed Martin modestly beat Wall Street expectations with a 3 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit — to $933 million -– despite a skimpy uptick in three-month sales overall and a ho-hum contribution by space systems.
Lockheed (NYSE: LMT) posted a less than 1 percent rise in revenue in the quarter, to $12.9 billion from a year-earlier $12.5 billion.
For the full year, the Bethesda, Md.-based company posted flat net income at $3.6 billion and a small increase in 12-month revenue to $46.1 billion from $45.6 billion in 2014.
The company’s aerospace holdings include a 50-50 joint venture with Boeing, United Launch Alliance, which has been NASA’s go-to provider of a range of launch services in recent years. Lockheed’s operational shifts in the most recent quarter include acquiring helicopters manufacturer Sikorsky and a big work force chop that triggered a fourth-quarter charge of $102 million.
The latter move prompted a 4-cent dip in Lockheed’s stock price on a broadly positive trading day, and its shares closed the session at $209.87. The stock slippage came despite the company’s easily outpacing Zacks’ consensus of analyst projections for the quarter of $2.93 per share by reporting a per-share profit $3.01 for the period.
“The corporation completed a year of exceptional operational accomplishments for customers and financial returns to stockholders,” chairman-CEO Marillyn Hewson said. “The successful closure of the Sikorsky acquisition and completion of the strategic review of our IS&GS businesses, coupled with our record backlog, position the corporation for future growth and value creation for our customers and our stockholders.”
It was the second consecutive quarter Lockheed managed to beat Street projections. But it also saw space-systems operations — one of five business segments it plies — form a drag on Lockheed financial results for a second straight earnings period.
Space systems posted flat operating profit of $288 million in the fourth quarter and operating profit slipped 1 percent to $1.17 billion on the year. Divisional revenue dipped 8 percent to $2.38 billion in the latest quarter and 9 percent to $9.11 billion over 12 months.