Orbital ATK’s accountants are still racking up overtime, but the aerospace and defense contractor minimized investor anxiety over delayed third-quarter financial results with a bullish forecast for the balance of the year.
The Dulles, Va.-based company said it’s still reviewing two years of past quarterly results that may need to be restated and can’t issue third-quarter financial numbers while that process continues. Orbital chief David Thompson offered only a general description of what Wall Street might expect when results for the latest quarter are made public.
“From a new business and operational standpoint, Orbital ATK turned in a solid third quarter, highlighted by continued strong customer demand for our products and outstanding operational execution throughout the company,” Thompson said. “While we are not able to report financial results at this time, our overall performance for the first three quarters of the year has enabled us to reaffirm our adjusted annual guidance for 2016.
“The company’s new order and option activity in the third quarter exceeded $2 billion and together with additional bookings in October boosted year-to-date totals to over $7.5 billion,” he added. “In addition, we remained committed to our capital deployment strategy by returning approximately $60 million in the third quarter and about $170 million so far this year to stockholders in share repurchases and dividends.”
On Nov. 2, Orbital’s board announced a quarterly cash dividend of 30 cents per share. The dividend is payable Dec. 1 to stockholders of record as of Nov. 16. The same day, the board also authorized an expansion of the company’s stock repurchase program, increasing the aggregate amount of common stock by 750,000 shares to a total 4 million shares through the end of the first quarter of 2017.
Orbital’s second-quarter financial results were released Aug. 10. Since then, accountants have been reviewing previous quarters to determine how financial results from those periods should be restated in light of the company’s post-merger performance. Orbital ATK was formed was formed in 2015 via the merger of Orbital Sciences Corp. and a division of Alliant Techsystems.
Orbital (NYSE: OA) issued its statement regarding third-quarter operations prior to the opening bell Nov. 8. Investors appeared mollified by what they heard, as shares climbed more than 2 percent to $77.84. The stock recently has been trading roughly midway between a 52-week range of $67.04-$94.92.