Aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin posted higher-than-expected profit in the first quarter despite lower sales than forecast.
Quarterly net income from continuing operations fell 5 percent to $763 million. However, that translated into $3 per share in adjusted earnings, or 21 cents higher than projected in a Thompson Reuters analysts’ consensus.
Lockheed’s companywide sales rose 7 percent in a three-month period ended March 26, to $11.06 billion; analysts expected $11.23 billion. The Bethesda, Md.-based company said quarterly sales rose almost 11 percent in its Space Systems unit, to $2.13 billion.
Chairman-CEO Marillyn Hewson shrugged off Wall Street’s top-line disappointment by stressing year-over-year unit comparisons.
“Our team delivered strong performance for our customers in the first quarter that resulted in sales growth in every business segment,” Hewson said.
Lockheed released its financial results prior to markets opening on April 25. Afterwards, the stock (NYSE: LMT) closed off $6.19, or 2.2 percent, at $270.02, amid an upbeat broader market. The shares have a 52-week trading range of $228.50-$276.64.
Lockheed’s fourth-quarter earnings were generally positive, despite a flat performance by space operations.
The company’s NASA contracts include work on projects in NASA’s Discovery Program.