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Lockheed Martin flies higher as results top estimates

Earnings of Lockheed Martin (LMT), the biggest defense contractor in the country, increased sharply in the first quarter supported by broad-based sales growth. The key metrics came in about analysts’ expectations. Encouraged by the upbeat results, the company upgraded its sales and earnings outlook for fiscal 2018. Following the announcement, shares of the aerospace company gained 1% in the pre-market, after trading higher in the last trading session.

Net earnings climbed around 50% to $4.02 per share during the three-month period from $2.69 per share a year earlier.

Driving the bottom-line growth, sales advanced 3.8% to $11.6 billion, reflecting strong performance by the main operating segments.

Lockheed Martin Q1 2018 Earnings

Sales of the Aeronautics division rose 7% to $4.4 billion helped by strong demand for the F-35 and F-16 aircraft and higher orders for combat aircraft modernization programs.

Missile and Fire Control systems sales moved up 8% to $1.7 billion, aided by an increase in the volume of classified programs and tactical missiles programs, mainly Long Range Stand OffMissile and Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.

Sales of the Rotary and Mission Systems unit grew 3% during the quarter, while Space segment sales dropped 3%.

Encouraged by the upbeat results, the company upgraded its sales and earnings outlook for fiscal 2018

“Strong operational and program execution in the first quarter allowed us to increase our financial guidance for sales, profit, and earnings per share. Our team remains dedicated to performing with excellence, offering affordable and innovative solutions for our customers, and delivering exceptional value to our shareholders,” said Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson.

Encouraged by the strong results, the company raised its full-year sales guidance to the range of $50.35 billion to $51.85 billion from $50.0 to $51.5 billion it had forecasted earlier. Earnings per share outlook have been upgraded to $15.80-$16.10 from $15.20-$15.50.

Northrop Grumman (NOC), another leading defense technology company, is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings Wednesday.

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