Israel's Elbit Systems Q1 profit tops estimates

TEL AVIV Tue May 13, 2014 2:39am EDT

TEL AVIV May 13 (Reuters) - Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems reported flat quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates, as the company won contracts in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, the company said on Tuesday.

The company earned $1.22 per diluted share excluding one-time items in the first quarter, unchanged from a year earlier. Revenue rose to $682.6 million from $680.2 million.

Elbit, Israel's largest publicly traded defence company, was forecast to earn $1.07 a share on revenue of $697.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Its backlog of orders rose to $6.06 billion at the end of March from $5.78 billion a year earlier.

Chief Executive Bezhalel Machlis noted the company's backlog surpassed $6 billion for the first time.

"The growth in backlog, including recent contract awards in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions, is an indication of stability and has the potential to support revenue growth over the coming years," he said.

Elbit declared a dividend of 32 cents per share for the first quarter, up from 30 cents for the fourth quarter. (Reporting by Tova Cohen)