Northrop Grumman Corp. reported higher third-quarter earnings Wednesday and an 11- percent increase in sales on strength in its mission systems, integrated systems, ships and space technology businesses.
The Los Angeles-based maker of warships and the Global Hawk spy plane reported a net profit of $278 million, or 76 cents per share, compared with $184 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.
Sales rose to $7.4 billion from $6.7 billion a year ago.
The company said income from continuing operations rose 46 percent to $291 million, or 80 cents a share, from $200 million, or 54 cents a share, a year ago. These results reflected the reclassification of certain operations from discontinued to continuing operations.
On that basis Wall Street analysts had expected the company to report earnings of 77 cents per share, on average, on revenue of $7.24 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.
The company, which said its board authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program, raised its 2004 sales outlook to more than $29 billion compared to its previous forecast of about $29 billion, and narrowed its expectations for earnings from continuing operations to $2.95 a share to $3 a share, from its previous outlook of $2.90 a share to $3 a share.
That compared to analysts' consensus expectations of $29.22 billion and earnings of $2.93 a share to $3.05 a share, with an average estimate of $3.01 a share.
Shares of Northrop closed trading Tuesday at $50.71.