Huntington Ingalls profit boosted by higher sales

Wed Aug 8, 2012 9:32am EDT

* Second quarter EPS $1 a share vs estimate 69 cents

* Operating margin improved at Ingalls unit

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc posted a higher-than-expected profit on Wednesday, aided by higher sales of amphibious assault ships, aircraft carriers and submarines.

The shipbuilder had second-quarter net earnings of $50 million, or $1.00 a share, up from $40 million, or 80 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected profit of 69 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $1.72 billion. Revenue at the company's Ingalls and Newport News divisions rose 6.8 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively.

Huntington Ingalls, which was spun off from defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp last year, has been focused on cutting costs and improving operations, especially at its U.S. Gulf Coast shipyards, as it works its way through unfavorable contracts that will fall off in 2013.

Operating margin improved to 5 percent at the Ingalls unit from 2.7 percent a year earlier, while Newport News's operating margin was flat at 9.1 percent in the quarter.

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