John123
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John123 in Gainers & Losers,

Lockheed Martin's shares surged 7% as quarterly profit handily beats estimates

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT), the world's largest defense contractor, reported a quarterly profit on Tuesday that handily beat analysts' expectations, as sales of its Sikorsky helicopters pushed total revenue up 14.8%.

Lockheed's shares closed up 7.37% @ $249.26.

The company also raised its adjusted profit and sales outlook for the year.

Results from the Pentagon's No. 1 weapons supplier are often seen as a bellwether for the U.S. defense sector. Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC) and Raytheon Co (RTN) are due to report quarterly results later thisweek.

The company said third-quarter sales in its rotary and mission systems business unit jumped 55% to $3.35 billion, which included about $1.2 billion from sales of Sikorsky military and commercial helicopters. Lockheed completed the $9 billion acquisition of Sikorsky from United Technologies Corp last year.

Lockheed said sales in its aeronautics business, the biggest division, increased 6.8% due to higher net sales of approximately $300 million for the F-35 jet program due to higher aircraft production and sustainment activities.

Only 10 F-35 aircraft were produced this quarter compared with 12 for the same period last year. On their quarterly results conference call, management said a problem with the insulation in the F-35's fuel lines and fuel tanks, and the subsequent fix for aircraft still on the production line, was the reason for "lighter" F-35 deliveries this quarter.

Lockheed is developing and building F-35s for the U.S. military and eight other countries. With estimated development and procurement costs of $391 billion for the United States alone, the F-35 is the world's most expensive weapons program.

Lockheed's space systems division, the third largest unit at the Bethesda, Maryland-based company, delivered $185 million in additional operating profit for the quarter, a 70% increase over the same period last year.

According to Thomson Reuters calculations, the company's income from continuing operations was $3.27 per share, versus the average analyst estimate of $2.87.

Net income more than doubled to $2.40 billion, or $7.93 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 25, from $865 million, or $2.77 per share, a year earlier.

"Most investors who take a look at the trading chart will conclude that this result is more than enough for a stock that has underperformed sharply of late," Barclays analyst Carter Copeland said in a research note.

Lockheed's net income included a one-time special cash payment of $1.8 billion from the company's $5 billion tax-free deal to merge its information systems and global solutions business with Leidos Holdings Inc earlier this year.

The company said it expected 2017 net sales to increase by 7% compared to 2016. The company also said it expected business segment operating margins to be between 10 and 10.5%.

Lockheed raised its adjusted outlook 2016 profit forecast of $11.15 to $11.45 per share to $12.10 and said its forecast for adjusted sales of $45 billion to $46.2 billion had been raised to $46.5 billion.

Net sales rose to $11.55 billion from $10.06 billion a year earlier.

Figures are good and I have no positions in US defense sector, so will think about adding LMT to my portfolio.