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Peek Into Defense Earnings Early Next Week: LMT, FLIR, BEAV

We have seen Q1 results from only 3.3% of the Defense sector’s total market cap in the index and 13 more companies will release their earnings next week. Notable contractors like Textron Inc. TXT kick started the earnings season with both its top and bottom lines beating estimates, while Rockwell Collins Inc. COL also turned up with a positive earnings surprise.

Early next week, the performance of a heavyweight like Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT and others like B/E Aerospace Inc. BEAV and FLIR Systems, Inc. FLIR will be closely watched to evaluate their position in investors’ portfolio.

The overall picture is a little depressing with the sector expected to register a 10.8% decrease in earnings and see a meager 0.4% revenue growth, as per the Zacks Trend report.

Then again, the S&P 500 Aerospace & Defense (Industry) index has grown 3.1% so far this year. In comparison, the S&P 500 index has shown 2.33% growth in the same period.

The defense sector is expected to return to growth in 2016 from declines in the past three years that bore the brunt of weak U.S. defense budgets. The increase in defense budgets both in the U.S. and in important allied nations spurred by global security threats are expected to aid the sector as a whole.

That said, "disproportionate" cuts to modernization and research and development funding could act as major impediments to the defense industry that is already facing volatility. And a stronger dollar could damage U.S. export competitiveness.

Let’s have a look at the three defense companies that are about to release their results early next week.

First, Lockheed Martin Corp. is set to release first-quarter results before the market opens on Apr 26. The prime defense contractor has an Earnings ESP of -1.99% and carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Lockheed expects is Sikorsky acquisition-related adjustments to lower sales and profits by $400 million and $375 million respectively in 2016. The company also expects the major impact of the decline to be felt in the first half of 2016, which will no doubt adversely impact its first-quarter results (read more: Will Defense Stock Lockheed's Q1 Earnings Surprise?).

FLIR Systems Inc. is slated to report first-quarter results before the opening bell on Apr 26. For the quarter, the company expects overall margins to be lower year over year due to product mix, a difficult comparable related to shipments to one Middle Eastern customer in the first quarter of 2015, and the non-re-occurrence of corporate expense credits it received.

The company expects softness to continue in many of its key European markets and anticipates an overall increase in foreign tax rates which will affect both its top line and margins in full-year 2016. Again, strong currency fluctuations are expected to impact the company’s top-line performance as it derives a major portion of its sales from outside Europe. It has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Read more: Can FLIR Systems Pull a Surprise in Q1 Earnings?).

B/E Aerospace Inc. is presently concentrating on the design, development, certification and manufacturing of aircraft cabin interior equipment. Global passenger traffic and capacity growth in 2016, as forecast by the International Air Transport Association, is expected to ramp up the production of manufacturers thereby creating opportunity for B/E Aerospace. As a result, B/E Aerospace will see increased demand for interior equipment, which will drive its top line in 2016.

However, the business jet market is witnessing weakness due to the slump in oil prices. This may hamper the company’s revenues at this segment in 2016 (read more: B/E Aerospace Q1 Earnings: Can the Stock Surprise?).

Stay tuned! Check later on for our full write-up on earnings releases of these stocks.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
LOCKHEED MARTIN (LMT): Free Stock Analysis Report
ROCKWELL COLLIN (COL): Free Stock Analysis Report
B/E AEROSPACE (BEAV): Free Stock Analysis Report
TEXTRON INC (TXT): Free Stock Analysis Report
FLIR SYSTEMS (FLIR): Free Stock Analysis Report
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